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Donating Breast Milk to Haiti's Babies

The tragic earthquake that struck Haiti more than two weeks ago may already be fading from the top headlines, but we know that the country is still in dire need of help. We compiled a list of where you can donate money, and food and medical supplies are being shipped into Haiti by the tons. But there’s something else that new moms can donate that's needed by the babies of Haiti: breast milk. Many babies have been orphaned or separated from their mothers. And even if they haven't, lack of clean water for formula or proper hydration of a nursing mom means there's a need for extra nourishment.

The International Breast Milk Project, which regularly collects and donates milk for babies in the U.S. and South Africa, has already sent a shipment to Port-au-Prince (which arrived today), while the Human Milk Banking Association of North America is currently gathering breast milk and money donations to send some to Haiti via the International Breast Milk Project. To donate, look for a collection center near you. Note: you must undergo a blood test screening at one of the Human Milk Bank locations.

Editor’s Note: The American Red Cross has asked that breast milk not be sent after all, citing issues of transportation and storage. Looks like this is one of those cases where the best of intentions went awry. If you're looking to help the people of Haiti, please donate to one of the aid organizations on our list.