With your help, SABR will be able to help more babies every year. Read on to find out what we've been up to, our latest fundraising ventures, and news on how donated breastmilk is changing lives.
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COVID-19 linked to increase in infant and maternal deaths

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Monday, 8th February 2021

Evidence suggests that there has been an increase in maternal and perinatal mortality rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown. During this time, healthcare services in metropolitan areas have been inundated by the number of COVID-19 infections taking away the emergency care for mothers in labour. The loss of jobs, and people returning home (to rural areas) has resulted in  hospitals being overrun and reaching capacity at an accelerated rate.


World Prematurity Day highlights the taxing toll preterm birth has on families

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Thursday, 12th November 2020

Giving birth to a premature baby is stressful and emotionally taxing on families. Preterm birth leads to a series of complications for an infant as the final weeks in the womb are crucial for healthy weight gain and the full development of vital organs. The global pandemic has exacerbated an already difficult situation for mothers and fathers who now have to go through this experience alone.


Maternal and neonatal health at risk during pandemic

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Monday, 18th May 2020

It is easy to lose focus of lifesaving services such as sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child healthcare when readying our healthcare system for the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. As we observe World Breastmilk Donation Day on Tuesday, 19 May, maternal and neonatal health partners call for greater focus on their sector. 


Breastmilk reserves critically low

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Wednesday, 20th November 2019

With the spotlight on World Prematurity Day (observed on 17 November), the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) has issued an urgent call for breastmilk donations as reserves run critically low.


South Africa must become a breastfeeding friendly nation says First Lady

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Friday, 2nd August 2019

Kalafong Hospital in Gauteng celebrated World Breastfeeding Week 2019 (1 – 7 August) yesterday with a series of dialogues about breastfeeding. First Lady, Dr Tshepo Motsepe emphasised the importance of developing local communities that welcome and support mothers who breastfeed their babies. “We need to become a breastfeeding friendly society and nation,” she said. “If South Africa is to reach the 2025 UN target of an exclusive breastfeeding rate of 50 per cent for the first six months of an infant’s life, we need to empower and support women who breastfeed in our communities.” The current rate of exclusive breastfeeding in South Africa is 32 per cent*.


State of the art Milk Bank launched at Kalafong

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Thursday, 14th February 2019

Love was all around this Valentine’s morning, as Kalafong Hospital CEO, Dr Manei Letebele-Hartell, on behalf of Gauteng MEC for Health, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, launched Kalafong Hospital’s revamped milk bank, a facility that has supported the saving of over 4 000 infant lives in the past decade.


Championing breastfeeding support in the workplace

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Thursday, 22nd November 2018

This morning, the South African Civil Society for Women’s Adolescents’ and Children’s Health (SACSoWACH) hosted a roundtable discussion to encourage better implementation of the Code of Good Practice for breastfeeding in the workplace, in an effort  to create enabling environments for breastfeeding in the workplace. The event comes after a recent discovery that while women constitute close to half of the South African workforce (44%), the vast majority do not receive adequate maternity protection, support or facilities to promote breastfeeding.*


Premature deaths on the decline

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Tuesday, 13th November 2018
This World Prematurity Day, 17 November 2018, the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) is celebrating the lives of almost 20 000 premature babies that have been saved through the provision of safe and necessary breastmilk, since their inception in 2003.

Limpopo sets breastfeeding precedent

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Wednesday, 1st August 2018

Studies indicate that 69% of mothers breastfeed their babies at birth, but this falls to 23% after just six weeks*. One of the reasons for this is that when new mothers return to work they often stop breastfeeding as they don’t feel as though they have the facilities or support they need in order to do so.


Drought will lead to increased infant mortality

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Monday, 19th March 2018

22 March is World Water Day, and this day has never been more important in the South African context. This week, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister, Zweli Mkhize, declared the drought and water crisis affec


ting parts of the country a national state of disaster.* Diarrhoeal disease linked to water crises is a leading cause of death in young children, accounting for 22% of the 10 million annual worldwide deaths of children under 5-years-old. Some of these deaths are directly linked to contaminated water but many are due to secondary contamination through water-borne diseases that reach children through formula milk.**

Breastfeeding provides solutions on World Prematurity Day

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Thursday, 16th November 2017

Prematurity is one of the three major causes of new-born deaths in South Africa, with diarrhoea and respiratory infections being the main causes of sickness and death in children younger than five years old*,” says Stasa Jordan, breastfeeding activist and executive director of the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR). “The simple act of breastfeeding can reduce infant mortality by a third and sickness by half*,” she continues.


Breastfeeding can help prevent both breast cancer and childhood cancer

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Monday, 16th October 2017
One in every 20 women in Southern Africa will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives.* As we observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) urges women to take action to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

Upgrade for pioneering human milk bank at Kimberley Hospital

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Monday, 4th September 2017
A new state-of-the-art human milk bank facility  was launched at Kimberly Hospital by the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR), in partnership with Discovery and the Northern Cape Department of Health (NCDOH) on Friday, 01 September 2017.

Breastfeeding rate shoots up by 357%

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Tuesday, 25th July 2017
A third of South African children under six months old are now exclusively breastfed. This represents a nearly five-fold increase over the last twenty years.* This massive shift is largely thanks to the combined efforts of breastfeeding advocates, healthcare providers and government. The South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) in partnership with Provincial departments of Health in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West Province has aided thousands of mothers and babies with access to breastmilk banks and breastfeeding support.

Smoking causes permanent harm to babies, both before and after they are born

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Wednesday, 10th May 2017

Mothers who smoke during or after pregnancy not only affect their own health, but they can also cause permanent harm to their babies. As we observe Anti-Tobacco Campaign Month, it is our collective responsibility to educate and support mothers to both limit the harm that their smoking may cause to their children and to stop smoking altogether.


Breastfeeding in public is a human right

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Tuesday, 21st March 2017

From the moment they are born, babies are granted universal human rights. These include ‘the right to life, survival and development and to the highest attainable standard of health’*. As we observe Human Rights Day on 21 March, we should recognise that when our society forces mothers to breastfeed in public toilets is not just unkind and unhealthy, it is a violation of their basic human rights.

Joining forces to help underprivileged babies in the first few weeks of life

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Monday, 19th September 2016

Many babies born in South Africa lack the most basic necessities in the first few weeks of life. The Grace Factory is a non-profit organisation that aims to alleviate this suffering by distributing free maternity packs to new mothers and children’s homes. On Saturday 17 September 2016, 100 members of the public joined forces with The Grace Factory to put together 1,000 of these life-changing packs.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome: a completely avoidable tragedy

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Wednesday, 7th September 2016

South Africa has the highest recorded rate of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in the world. Scientists estimate that as much as 10% of the population is affected by either FAS or the spectrum of disorders related to it. As we observe World Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Day on 9 September, the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) urges government and society to support mothers in abstaining from alcohol use during pregnancy and moderating use during breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is key to sustainable development

Wednesday, 27th July 2016

As we observe World Breastfeeding Week from 01 - 07 August, we recognise that increased breastfeeding has positive effects on the development of our entire society. Breastfeeding is a critical foundation for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. These goals are intended to end poverty and to fight inequality and injustice, to ensure that no individual is left behind, and to direct world-wide development onto a sustainable path.

Breastfeeding could save the lives of thousands of infants affected by drought

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Monday, 20th June 2016

South Africa is currently suffering one of the worst droughts in recorded history. This poses a major health risk to thousands of infants in drought ridden areas, which can be largely mitigated by simply supporting and encouraging breastfeeding mothers.

Breastfeeding raises IQ scores and gives children the best chance at life

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Wednesday, 1st June 2016

As we celebrate International Children’s Day on the 1st of June, the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) urges society, business and government to invest in the future wellbeing and prosperity of the next generation by supporting and encouraging breastfeeding mothers.

Breast is best: benefits of breastmilk far outweigh convenience of formula

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Thursday, 7th April 2016


This World Health Day, celebrated on 07 April, Neonatal heavyweights are calling on all mothers to educate themselves about giving their babies the best start at a healthy life. Vanessa Booysen, Neonatal Lead Facilitator for the Limpopo Initiative for Newborn Care (LINC) and Stasha Jordan, breastfeeding activist and Executive Director of South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) both warn that while formula may seem more convenient for busy moms to feed their babies, the benefits of breastmilk and breastfeeding far outweigh those of formula for infants, toddlers and particularly for newborn babies.

Babies have rights too

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Tuesday, 1st March 2016


As South Africans celebrate Human Rights Day on 21 March 2016, the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) urges communities not to forget babies’ rights. “Babies cannot stand up and protest when their rights are violated and they cannot speak for themselves, but they have rights just like the rest of us,” says Stasha Jordan, breastfeeding activist and executive director of SABR.


Project Breastmilk Santa launches on World Prematurity Day

Tuesday, 17th November 2015

The South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) has launched a Festive Season initiative: Project Breastmilk Santa which encourages mothers to get into the spirit of giving by donating surplus breastmilk to premature babies in neonatal intensive care units at hospitals around the country.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Friday, 2nd October 2015

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month - a reminder for women to take their breast health seriously. “Regular breast examinations are crucial for early detection and treatment of breast cancer,” says Stasha Jordan, breastfeeding activist and executive director of the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR).



Donated breastmilk saving more babies in Eastern Cape hospitals

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Thursday, 16th July 2015

Efforts to curb a high infant mortality rate in the Eastern Cape are showing promising results thanks to a partnership between the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) and the Provincial Department of Health. Last year SABR coordinated collection and redistribution of life-saving donated breastmilk to 124 critically sick babies in the province; this number is set to increase as the programme expands.


Celebrating International day of the Midwife

Tuesday, 5th May 2015

The South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) honours midwives for the critical role they play in facilitating a healthy start to life for babies and a positive birth experience for mothers this International Day of the Midwife, celebrated globally on Tuesday, 05 May 2015.

World Health Day: Food safety also for babies

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Tuesday, 7th April 2015

Food safety is the theme for this year’s World Heath Day, celebrated on 7 April 2015. Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes more than 200 diseases - ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.*


Tuesday, 17th March 2015

This Human Rights Day, the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) celebrate a massive decline in infant mortality rates – signalling progress in the protection of the right to life for the youngest members of the country.

Pregnancy awareness week: commit now to donate breastmilk

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Wednesday, 11th February 2015

This Pregnancy Awareness Week (10 – 16 February 2015) the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) urges women to understand the benefits of breastfeeding, commit to breastfeeding their babies and to save other babies’ lives by donating breastmilk.

Breastfeeding at work is legal and should be normal

Friday, 30th January 2015

When maternity leave ends, many mothers think they have no choice but to stop breastfeeding and return to work. In a bid to reduce child mortality rates and raise a healthy nation, the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR) urges mothers to stand up for their legal rights as employees and continue to provide the most healthy option for their baby by breastfeeding

We hear from a proud mommy and SABR donor

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Wednesday, 25th April 2012

My name is Bernadette Ohannessian. I am a proud mom to two beautiful boys and have been donating breast milk for the last 6 months. My first son Ethan was born on the 10th of April 2008. My membranes ruptured at 33 weeks due to a bad bladder infection which meant Ethan had to go straight into NNICU. Our little boy was very sick, he was born with congenital pneumonia and had a number of heart problems. The 30 days that Ethan spent in NNICU was a very stressful and emotional time. The paediatric cardiologist suggested that I express for Ethan because he was not strong enough to breast feed. I expressed for him for 12 months and can honestly say that Ethan really benefited from the breast milk. He was a very healthy baby and grew beautifully.

Ready or not here we come!

Friday, 27th January 2012

We will be visiting all our banks in Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Richards Bay and New Castle next week.

Let's get chatting!

Thursday, 19th January 2012

We at SABR love to receive feedback from our donors, recipients and breastfeeding mommies.

Welcome 2012!

Wednesday, 4th January 2012

Happy New Year to all! We trust that you have had peaceful and joyous Festive Season and that you are ready to take on 2012!

Twitter Account!!!

Wednesday, 7th December 2011

We are very proud to announce that we have our very own Twitter account.

Piermaritzburg Counsellor/Coordinator Wanted!

Wednesday, 7th December 2011

Stock delivery

Tuesday, 8th November 2011
Hi all,

Totalsport Ladies Race August 2011

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Wednesday, 31st August 2011
And the SABR did it for girl power and our babies

Hands on! Because we believe in our work.

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Sunday, 28th August 2011

At the eve of important changes in the health care of South Africa and riding on the enthusiasm of the Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi and Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Gwen Ramokgopa for breastfeeding and human milk banking we climbed into our car and set for Kwazulu Natal (KZN).