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Spring 2020 Newsletter


Today we are 8 years old and we have so much to celebrate!

The COVID-19 pandemic is a solid reminder of how quickly we can be humbled by the power of mother nature. It's a reminder of how fragile we all are and the importance and power of human milk. Breastmilk is safe and continues to be beneficial for your baby. It provides antibodies that lessen the effects of illness. It is truly as much a medicine as it is a food. Continuing to breastfeed your own baby during this pandemic is extremely important as it provides the best protection - it is truly a gift!

We have been receiving lots of questions in regards to whether we're still accepting donor milk - the answer is YES! We need to prepare for future uncertainty and continue to provide an uninterrupted supply of donor milk to babies in the NICU whose lives depend on the life saving benefits.

Measures have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of our team and our donors. For the milk drop locations that are in hospitals (Regina and Edmonton), we've arranged for volunteer teams to pick up milk directly from our donors to minimize hospital exposure. At our head office in Calgary, we are pausing all tours, breastfeeding classes, Breastfeeding Cafe and visits. If you have a donation to drop off we will come out to your vehicle to pick up your donation when you arrive. To our faithful and dedicated volunteers we have parted ways until the pandemic has subsided.They carry a lot of our load and we miss them dearly!

NorthernStar will continue with our thorough screening, and making sure that moms were healthy when pumping for donation. We ask if you have been feeling ill to pause your pumping for donation. Please comply with social distancing, and wash your hands frequently to increase your chances of remaining safe. I hope our next newsletter we can all celebrate getting through this pandemic together.

Jannette Festival

Executive Director



Since opening NMMB in 2012, the introduction of pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) as the standard of care in Neonatal Intensive Care Units has changed the way we care for sick and premature babies across Canada. The use of PDHM has been a key factor in the decreasing rate of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (a deadly intestinal disease) in premature babies. In Calgary, that rate has fallen drastically since 2012, increasing the health of our most fragile population and decreasing length of stay in hospital. Breastfeeding your own baby is so important and the milk bank is dedicated to helping mothers be successful and feeding their own baby. Breastmilk is amazing! Happy Birthday to NMMB and what a reason to celebrate!!



Welcome to our new team members, Heather, Gillian and Mariana who joined the NMMB team this winter.


Lab Manager


Outreach Coordinator


Lab Technician


Donor Profile: Mercedes' Story

“In March 2017, I became a part of the 1 in 3 infant/pregnancy loss statistic. I once questioned and hated the body I lived in for “failing” to grow the little life inside me who I so badly wanted to join me on earth, but today I am grateful! I have learned you have to fight through the bad days to earn the best days of your life, and delayed gratification is a powerful thing. Today I am the mother of two happy, healthy, growing baby boys. I had healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, easy recoveries and successful breastfeeding. Today not only has my body grown two healthy boys, but also continues to nourish our Wylder and now other babies in need! The power and health benefits associated with breast milk is unable to be man-made and I am so honoured to be able to help other moms who are feeling desperate like I was as their babies potentially fight for their life. I am happy to share the “liquid gold.” - Mercedes, March 2020



We are once again proud to partner with the Shaw Charity Classic and the Birdies for Kids Program raising funds for our Charitable Care Program. The first $10,000.00 donated will be matched with an additional $5,000.00! Your donation goes even further!! All these funds will go directly to our Community Care Program which provides sick babies at home with much needed milk. Donations will be accepted until September 1st, 2020. To donate, click here.



Thank you to our community volunteers!

We are so grateful for our community volunteers, the Sherwood Park Elks and health care workers in Saskatchewan, who have graciously volunteered their time to pick up milk directly from our donors in Regina and Edmonton to minimize hospital exposure for moms. Here we have Leonard Shain with Lauren Griffiths dropping off milk at Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton. We so appreciate your support - it truly does take a village! New Yorkton Milk Drop Location

Yorkton Public Health is able to provide additional support to the Yorkton Milk Drop with the

donation of a new freezer! Any approved donor wanting to bring in their donation can do so by calling the Early Visiting Program at 306.786.0625 to make an appointment. The Milk Drop in the Yorkton Hospital is temporarily unavailable for donations at this time. In this photo, Heidi Russell, is proudly showing off the new freezer.


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