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A service that helps premature and seriously-ill babies across Ireland has appealed for more new mothers to donate breast milk.

The human milk bank run by the Western Health Trust currently has just 20 active donors.

To meet demand from neonatal units it needs between 50 and 100.

Based at the South West Acute hospital in Enniskillen, it helps premature babies and also those with serious heart or intestinal problems.

Human milk contains substances that cannot be synthesised, which helps the babies fight viruses and bacteria and protects them from pneumonia and septicaemia.

In particular it can protect the gut from rupturing, a potentially life-threatening condition called Necrotising enterocolitis.

When Alana Meikle’s daughter Grace was born early, she weighed

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