Recently I was invited along to a mothers morning tea with the team from Medela. I bundled up my mix fed bub and trundled off into the city wondering how they could possibly tell me anything new about breastfeeding. What I didn’t know is that not only is there continual research being done on breastmilk and its benefits but also that I would walk away from the presentation mentally applauding how wonderful the human race can be.
This post is brought to you by Medela and Kids Business.
Have you ever stopped and wondered about the hows and whys of motherhood in a third world country?
Thank goodness for organisations like Scope Global and The International Centre for Diarrheal Research who do.
In response to the increasing numbers of infant mortalities and morbidity in Bangladesh, they have come together to launch an intuitive to enable mothers to give breast milk to their babies for longer. This high morbidity and mortality rate is due in large, to early cessation of breast milk feeding and the introduction of infant formula combined with poor sanitation,
See mothers from Bangladesh’s large garment factory industry often, due to the limited maternity leave, have to return to work once their baby is 2 months old. These mothers typically have to work a 10-14 hour day, 5-6 days per week, which as you can imagine would create a terrible situation when it comes to continuing with breastfeeding.
These mothers are forced to cease breastfeeding and move their babies onto formula. But how does that work in regions of Bangladesh where the environment is not optimal for formula feeding? It doesn’t. Along with high temperatures and humidity, there is poor electricity supply to homes and workplaces and a severe lack of refrigeration.
Horrific to think these mothers are doing their very best but essentially have so many external factors against them.
Here is where I begin to marvel at this wonderful project.
The University of Toronto have donated a pasteurisation device to enable the expressed breast milk to be pasteurised and thus be stored for longer periods in the Bangladesh climate.
Pasteurising breast milk! How wonderful is that. I asked if it still kept its wonderful mix of proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins, iron, minerals, enzymes, probiotics and stem cells (yes stem cells!) and was told that though it did lose a little of the nutrients in the pasteurisation process it wasn’t enough to hinder the make up of good things.
As one of the stakeholders in the initiative Medela Australia have donated 20 Lactina pumps and 200 Lactaset hand pump kits and also provide an Australian volunteer, Alysha Harkins, who provides education and support for the mothers, families and the employers to establish and facilitate ongoing expression of breast milk in the work environment. Medela Australia provided Alysha with intensive education on breastfeeding, breast milk expression and technical training on hand expression, using the breast pumps and cup feeding prior to her departure and will continue to provide ongoing support during the 12 month project.
Medela Australia said they have felt extremely privileged to be an ongoing part of this project and so they should be. Also I applaud Alysha working on the frontline to assist this project.
Often it is the oxygen wasters that get all the attention in media. I believe it is people like Alysha and the teams behind this project that should get the spotlight more.
Have you read about or been a part of a great initiative recently?
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