the VOA Special English Health Report.
Money, jewels and important documents may not be the only valuables
placed in banks these days. Some
mothers are making deposits, or really, donations, to breast milk banks.
are ten breast milk banks across the United States. However, there are many
more stations set up where mothers can donate their extra milk for other
say breast milk is the best food for babies. In fact, the World Health
Organization says it is the only food babies should get during the first six
months of life, in most cases.
milk is especially important for babies born too early. Sometimes these premature babies must stay
in the hospital for many weeks.
are several reasons some mothers may not be able to breastfeed. Some are not able to make enough milk. Others might be taking medicines or have
medical problems that prevent the process.
Cameron is a doctor who treats newborns at Lutheran Children's Hospital in Fort
Wayne, Indiana. He says breast milk is
almost like medicine.
Doctor James Cameron: "The fact is that there are so
many different proteins and specialized sugars in the breast milk that the
mom's able to make that help provide immunity.
It's very important for the health of the newborn."
Baur, lives near Fort Wayne. She breastfed
both her children and always had more milk than they needed. She wanted to donate to the Indiana Mothers
Milk Bank in Indianapolis. But freezing
and shipping milk can be costly. Then, a donor station opened near her home.
donations in the United States work like this.
Donors must be willing to provide almost three liters of breast
milk. They freeze the milk and take it
to the station. There, employees warm
the milk and mix it with other mothers' milk.
Then, the milk is heated to kill bacteria. After that, the technicians test samples of all the milk to make
sure it is safe and healthful. The milk
is re-frozen and sent to the main milk bank.
The milk bank transports the milk to hospitals to feed premature or sick
are tested for diseases before any milk is accepted. They are not permitted to smoke tobacco, use illegal drugs or
drink too much alcohol. Lisa Baur gets something very special in return for the
milk she gives: satisfaction.
LISA BAUR: "You know you're helping someone."
And that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written
by Caty Weaver and Erika Celeste. For more health news visit
voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Faith