High interest in Milk Bank
04 Dec 2018
Vulnerable premature babies, including those at Nepean Hospital, will have a better chance of fighting off life-threatening infections and disease with the launch of a state-wide first donor human milk bank in NSW.
Run jointly by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and NSW Health, the newly built facility will pasteurise donor breast milk for babies who have a very low birth weight and need specialised care.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service Milk Bank Manager, Chris Sulfaro says the introduction of a breast milk bank in NSW will bring easier access to a safe and reliable supply of pasteurised donor breast milk to the nine Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) across the state, including Nepean Hospital.
“The Milk Bank is going to be a game changer. It means a far more consistent supply to every unit and will have a positive impact on the lives of many premature babies and their families for the better.”
“The World Health Organisation recommends pasteurised donor breast milk as the next best source of nutrition for a baby when there is insufficient supply of mother’s own milk.”
“The Milk Bank will operate in alignment with international best practice standards to ensure product safety and quality, and in line with Blood Service practice, will screen donors, collect, process and test donated breast milk, to ensure recipient safety is not compromised,” says Mrs Sulfaro who was also formerly the Nurse Unit Manager at Nepean Hospital’s NICU.
New mum, Jenna Gregory, gave birth to baby Mason prematurely at Nepean Hospital and needed donor milk to supplement her own supply.
Ms Gregory strongly encourages any mother facing a similar situation to hers to consider the use of donor breast milk.
“It is properly screened and stored in the safest of environments and you can guarantee that what’s being provided is the best nutrition on offer. Mason had immediate improvements when moving to donor milk and you could visibly see he was heading in the right direction,” says Jenna.
“To the women who have donated I can’t thank you enough. You made what was already a hard road that little bit easier. You truly are angels.”
Since its launch over a week ago, hundreds of mothers have come forward with offers of donations to the Milk Bank.
Mothers who produce an excess of breast milk and live a healthy lifestyle may be eligible to donate and can contact the Milk Bank at milkbank.com.au for further information.