Breastfeeding is a very emotive subject for many parents. There’s no denying that breast milk provides the best start for babies. According to the World Health Organisation, breastfed babies are less likely to be overweight or obese and less prone to diabetes and other conditions and illnesses in later life.
The WHO also states ‘they perform better on intelligence tests and have higher school attendance’. However, sometimes breastfeeding is just not possible and parents are faced with finding an alternative.
Experts recommend that your baby is breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months and then for a further 6 months as part of a balanced diet. But according to findings by UNICEF, eight out of ten women in the UK stop breastfeeding before they want to.
The reasons for this are varied and often very personal. Breastfeeding pain and low supply can make it difficult for some mums to continue. Lifestyle factors such as returning to work can also put the brakes on the breastfeeding journey. For other families breastfeeding is unfortunately not an option from the start. Lower birth weight and delayed supply can prevent breastfeeding for premature babies and twins. Medical reasons may also be a factor, as well as if the baby has been adopted or born via a surrogate.
What are the next best substitutes?
Formula is of course the most widely used alternative, however it does not have the stem cells, antibodies, human milk oligosaccharides, and more than 200 other micronutrients that are found in breast milk.
It is recommended (when breastfeeding is not possible) by the World Health Organisation, who state: ‘The best food for any baby whose own mother’s milk is not available is the breastmilk of another healthy mother’. Donor milk is fast becoming a popular alternative to formula for parents who are unable to breastfeed themselves, but want the best start in life for their little ones.
Finding an alternative breast milk supply
You can purchase breast milk online, and there are also sites and social media groups where milk is donated. However, unregulated, donated breast milk can be associated with several risks if it is not properly screened. These can include the transmission of bacteria and viruses, medicines and other drugs, and also environmental contaminants as a result of unhygienic storage.
It is therefore much safer to purchase breast milk that has been pasteurised and properly screened. NeoKare Nutrition is a leading innovator in milk processing and breast milk technology. The company’s Pasteurised Human Breast Milk (PHBM) complies with NICE guidelines and has not been pooled.
The overall benefits of donor breast milk.
Whilst donor milk will never be as good as your own, it can give your baby a better start than formula feeding. If a mother’s own milk is not available, donor milk can still provide increased nutrition, easier digestibility, and a reduced risk of developing certain conditions and diseases later in life – including diabetes and asthma.
Donor milk can help to alleviate the stress associated with not being able to breastfeed. It is an alternative option for parents on induced lactation as well, as there is no need to take hormones.
Breast milk is an essential part of healthy early childhood and it supports both the physical and neuro-cognitive development of the baby. It really is amazing stuff, and is well worth considering a milk donor if you are unable or choose not to physically breastfeed – for whatever reason.
For more information or to purchase any Neokare products online please visit neokare.co.uk