New Zealands first community breast milk bank is up and running.  Now new mums in Canterbury can supplement their efforts with milk donated by other women.

One Canterbury mum, Jamiee Jansen van Rensburg, began donating her excess breast milk to the community milk bank after she stopped breastfeeding her fourth child.

“I always knew I had lots of milk! So yeah, I thought it’s a real honour to be able to do that,” Ms Jansen van Rensburg said.

Her milk has been stored at Christchurch’s St George’s Hospital in what is now officially the country’s first community breast milk bank.

“If a mum can’t produce milk herself, if she can have access to breast milk, it’s gold for the baby. It’s exactly what the baby needs, so it’s extremely worthwhile.”

The donated breast milk is first screened and pasteurised at Christchurch Hospital before being taken back to the milk bank.

“If the mother is having troubles for milk supply, for whatever reason – that could be for a range of things, milk intervention or diabetes, C-section births – so if we can help them get through that barrier, then it might help them continue,” Ms Bartle said.

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