Helping Hands, Changing Lives | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Helping Hands, Changing Lives

Rotary Whangārei South are raising funds to support the Whangārei Hospital Te Kotuku maternity unit in setting up a human milk bank. 

The target of $32,000 would assist in the purchase of a Sterifed T30 Pasteuriser. 

“Donated pasteurised breastmilk is important for feeding sick and premature infants when lactating mothers do not have a sufficient milk supply for their infant’s nutritional needs,” explains Sue Bree, Director of Midwifery and Service Manager, Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora. 

“Breastmilk is particularly important for babies who have been born prematurely or are unwell, requiring admission to the Neonatal Unit. These babies have higher nutritional and immunity needs.” 

In 2023, there were 161 discharges from the Neonatal unit with an average stay of 15.1 days.

 When a mother’s own milk is not available, a milk bank offers support by providing screened and pasteurised donor milk while the mother is establishing lactation. 

“Donated breastmilk is a precious resource gifted by healthy breastfeeding mothers who have breastmilk surplus to their needs,” Sue said. 

“Breastfeeding mothers undergo a thorough screening process, and after a health and lifestyle screen, they are required to have blood screening done, too. 

“We pasteurise the milk and have that available for our sick and preterm babies.” 

Over the last few months Rotary Whangārei South has raised over $20,000 towards this project.

“Our members are very excited about this opportunity, particularly because it will help vulnerable newborn babies get a better start in life,” said President Jenni Moore. 

“Your donation will make a real impact on the lives of others. Please donate today to help us in our quest to support the community.”

Te Kotuku Maternity Unit - Human Milk Bank - Rotary Whangārei South's Fundraiser on Donorbox(external link)


Talei Anderson, pictured here has an excess supply of breastmilk and said, "I would happily donate to a milk bank if one was available."

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