Posted by: Admin | March 17, 2011

In the News: A milk bank in Quebec?

Breastmilk is important! It is the food nature intended for our babies. Cow milk is for little calves, rabbit milk is for little rabbits, and so on. The milk made by a species contains the elements important for that specific kind of animal. For example, the bear cub needs to build up a good fatty layer to help him get through the winter months. The mother bear’s milk is high in fat. The baby rabbit needs to run away from predators very quickly after his birth. The milk received from his mother is high in proteins to help build good muscles. Also, each species needs protection against very different illnesses. Rarely does an illness cross over the species’ boundaries. Human breastmilk contains antibodies specific to the illnesses that affect our kind, so that it protects our human babies from human illnesses. Cow milk contains antibodies against cow illnesses.

All babies need their mother’s milk. An ill or a premature baby needs it even more. For that reason, Hema-Quebec is looking into setting up a milk bank in the province of Quebec. Right now, there is only one milk bank in all of Canada: the BC’s Women’s Milk Bank in Vancouver. One reasons for this is that a milk bank is very complicated to set up. Protocols need to be set up to (1) collect the breastmilk from mothers, (2) treat it to make it safe for all infants and (3) safely store it. Hema-Quebec has the expertise to do this as they already deal with a body fluid: blood.

If you would like to read more about it, see this article published last Monday in the Globe and Mail.




  1. I think it’s great! A mother could use a supplementary nursing system with the donor milk, so the baby cold still breastfeed! WTG DCanada!

  2. Mmmh….I saw that on the CTV news. And my opinion on this is that there is a good & bad side to it. The good one is the baby whose parents cannot afford the ever expensive formula that being sold in stores. This would be for them, crossing my fingers that it is going a cheaper? The bad side is that the baby will still not get the bonding from his/her mother 😦

    • Thanks Mabel! You are right. Breastfeeding is not only “feeding” a child. It is also the tenderness, the touch, the smell, the love, etc.
      At first, Hema-Québec says they will be making the breastmilk available only to premature and sick infants whose mothers cannot produce enough milk or cannot produce at all for whatever reason. Later on, they should be open to other requests, but they do not usually give it out for any reason.

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