Mama of one and small business owner Emily Page desperately wanted to find a way to help people fleeing their homes in Ukraine. Deeply affected by what families in Ukraine are going through and especially the predicament of new mothers giving birth and breastfeeding in the midst of a war, Emily rallied to put together essential supplies.
UK-based Emily runs Mamas Milk, selling breastfeeding accessories and also providing breastfeeding information and support to mothers around the world through her popular Instagram page. Speaking about the situation in Ukraine Emily said: “When I saw families beginning to shelter in basements and the metro, working in Lactation and infant feeding my immediate thoughts went to how ‘How are these mothers going to continue to feed their babies? Will they have access to breastfeeding support if they need it? Will they access to formula or clean water? How will they sterilise things? What about all the pregnant women due to give birth any day now?'”
Emily continued: “I had so many thoughts racing through my head, it was terrifying. I needed to offer some sort of support. A quick google search told me the Ukranian exclusive breastfeeding rates were 19.7% (UNICEF), with 66% of mothers initiating breastfeeding at birth. Breastfeeding may be natural, but it doesn’t always come naturally, lots of mothers need support.”
It wasn’t long before Emily started to take action to help families in Ukraine. Through her Instagram page she offered immediate help to any Ukranian mother needing breastfeeding information and support during the crisis. Not content with just that, Emily felt she could do more. Soon she put in place a donation system on her website – for every item purchased she would match that.
Almost immediately people were flooding her website buying breast pumps, breast pads and more – all with the goal on helping Ukranian Mothers in need. Emily was taken aback by the immediate response: “In an instant people were sharing my idea and donating products. I stopped taking donations at 7pm on Sunday 27th as I had run out of stock. I’m a small independent business so I don’t hold huge amounts at any one time but what I did have has now all been donated.”
“In an instant people were sharing my idea and donating products. I stopped taking donations at 7pm on Sunday 27th as I had run out of stock. I’m a small independent business so I don’t hold huge amounts at any one time but what I did have has now all been donated.”
Over £2500 worth of donations
To add to all the Mamas Milk donations Emily also went out and purchased sanitary towels, hand santitiser and cold-water sterilising bottles to help all formula feeding mums be able to feed their babies safely. With products totalling over £2500 Emily quickly packed up everything for delivery to Ukranian families in need.
Emily said: “We have donated a total of £2509.50 worth of products and I couldn’t have done it without the ongoing support of my followers, I truly have them to thank. Becoming a mother changes your outlook on pretty much everything and it’s clear to me that motherhood ignites a fire inside women motivating them to come together and support each other in times of a crisis.”
Helping ensure all the donations get to the right place is the organisation Bridge to Unity run by Matt Simmons. Bridge to Unity are working with an organisation already on the ground on the Polish boarder, Zintegrowana Służba Ratowincza (ZSR) an NGO set up and run by a team of volunteers who are providing medical care and practical assistance to those entering Poland and fleeing from Russia’s ongoing Invasion of Ukraine.
Mamas Milk and Bridge to Unity
Bridge to Unity is at the heart of the rapidly unfolding situation and due to the numbers of individuals entering Poland, many of whom are women and children, resources are running out as their demand increases to an overwhelming level.
Matt will be travelling to the Polish boarder on Saturday 5 March, taking a van full of medical supplies and all Emily’s donated Mama’s Milk products. Emily will be keeping her customers and online community updated every step of the way.
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