A MOTHER from Barry who donates breast milk to parents across Wales is calling on the Welsh Government to improve their neonatal care system.

Harriet Tutton, 28, of Dunraven Street, Barry, has donated milk to parents across Wales for nearly two years. There are no ‘milk banks’ – centres which redistribute breast milk – in Wales, and Mrs Tutton says she did not feel supported by hospital staff after her daughter, Luna, struggled to breastfeed following her birth.

“We didn’t have any support in the hospital, we were just given a bottle of formula and told she has to have this,” said Mrs Tutton

“There was nobody there to help. In 10 days and there was only one lady who was able to offer any support.”

Still wanting to ensure Luna received breast milk, Mrs Tutton filled up as many containers as she could. But after realising she had produced far more than Luna could possibly need, as well as deciding to provide her with only fresh milk, she froze the rest while she decided what to do.

“I started expressing and I just made up this huge supply and didn’t know what to do with it. I filled everyone’s freezers up,” she said.

“I posted on Facebook and people said why don’t you donate it.

“I’ve had people drive for five hours to collect it, I couldn’t believe the demand.”

The absence of milk banks has been driving demand for donors. There are 13 in England, but none in Wales.

Public Health Wales advise against informal milk sharing due to risk of contamination, but Mrs Tutton says parents in Wales have little choice.

“Public Health Wales advises people to follow the NICE (National Institute For Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines,” she said.

“We can’t, we don’t actually have the facilities in Wales to follow that.

“Informal milk sharing will happen regardless. Everyone should be able to feed their babies breastmilk, even if they can’t do so themselves.

“If they put money in to have a milk bank, brilliant, loads of people would do it. They need to put their money into support at the start and then we wouldn’t have these problems.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said they were “actively looking” at introducing milk banks in Wales and that a task and finish group would report back in February.