Support for a human- breast-milk bank in Alberta is growing, and an Edmonton woman is doing what she can to pump it up even further.

Erie Melnyhchuk, a registered nurse and lactation consultant, began advocating last year and started a petition last week, though she noted it’s a long process, due to the need for funding, space and government support.

“We would be using the breast-milk bank for pre-term babies and if mothers couldn’t produce milk,” Melnychuk said. “I know there are needs for that.”

Natasha Chiam agrees.


“My first son was a preemie, so we spent just about three weeks in (the neonatal intensive-care unit)” said Chiam. “I was able to pump enough milk for him, but had I not been able to, I would have chosen it over formula.”

But Natasha Proulx, mom to one-year-old twins, isn’t so sure.

“I tried to nurse and ended up using formula,” she said. “I would want any breast milk to come from me, not another mom. I know it’s tested but I still might feel uncomfortable.”

For now Melnychuk plans to use the petition to continue to garner more support.

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