“I’d like to send my milk on the bus.”
You may have heard of the human milk bank in Vancouver. You may also know about the human milk collection depot in Prince George (PG). But did you know that approved donors in Northern BC can now ship their milk to PG by bus?
That’s right. While approved donors may have previously dropped off their milk in PG or sent it with family or friends, they now have another option: they can arrange to send it with the Northern Health Connections (NHC) bus.
This is great news for people who want to donate to the provincial milk bank, but for whom the distance to PG may have been a barrier.
Pasteurized donor human milk is prioritized for fragile, tiny, and sick babies, for whom it can be lifesaving. There’s always a need for more milk. Now, NHC is helping to reduce barriers to donation.
This is also great news for the team at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC) in PG.
Jen Boon is the Clinical Practice Lead on the unit, and she shares that the team is so grateful for this support.
“By offering this service, the NHC team is helping to connect communities across Northern BC to provide lifesaving nutrition to our newest and smallest residents,” says Jen. “As awareness of this service increases, we hope that more people will consider becoming milk donors.”
The team at NHC is also excited, including Fiona MacPherson, Lead, Northern Health Connections and Special Projects: “I am extremely proud that our organization is offering this service. By transporting breast milk from approved donors, we are supporting families in need.”
For Fiona, it’s personal, too: “Both of my children spent weeks in the NICU after they were born; access to pasteurized donor human milk would have been an amazing option.”
Similar sentiments are shared by Nicolas Fricke, Operations Manager with NHC: “This is such an amazing opportunity to help those in need. This puts a smile on my face.”
Big thanks is due to everyone who makes human milk donation possible in Northern BC. Of course, none of this could happen without the donors themselves.
“Thank you to all the mothers who donate,” says Fricke. “I am honoured to help you support these precious babies. You are true heroes.”
- How to become a human milk donor (2-minute video, BC Women’s Hospital)
- Northern BC donors: Got milk? Northern moms donate to human milk bank for babies in need (Northern Health Stories)
- Northern BC recipients: Got milk? Vulnerable Northern babies receive donor milk from provincial milk bank (Northern Health Stories)
- Donor milk’s journey from Northern BC donors to recipients: Human milk donation: Liquid Goldie’s big adventure (Northern Health Stories)