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Donor breast milk

Formal/informal Milk Sharing (what do you think?)

The vast majority of mothers can and should breastfeed, just as the vast majority of infants can and should be breastfed. Only under exceptional circumstances can a mother’s milk be considered unsuitable for her infant. For those few health situations where infants cannot, or should not, be breastfed, the choice of the best alternative – expressed breast milk from an infant’s own mother, breast milk from a healthy wet-nurse or a human-milk bank, or a breast-milk substitute fed with a cup, which is a safer method than a feeding bottle and teat – depends on individual circumstances.

(WHO, 2002)

All babies deserve the best start in life... some babies have to fight for it!

12% of all babies are born premature.  6% of babies are actually born more than 12 weeks premature.  And many of these babies have to stay in hospital for around 10 to 20 weeks.

Without doubt, these babies face the toughest start to life.  It is also one of the most stressful life events for their parents and family.

The Grantley Stable Neonatal Unit (GSNU) at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) currently cares for more than 1,500 premature and seriously-ill babies every year.  Babies are admitted from all over Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

The Neonatal Unit and its staff currently provide these babies with the best possible care, which now includes access to pasturised donor human milk when their mothers can't produce her own.  The RBWH Milk Bank screens and pasteurises the milk from eligible donors.  Providing this service helps reduce the length of stay, improves survival rates and reduces the stress placed on families. 

After serious complications, Chloe's* baby was born prematurely. Chloe became very unwell and was confined to intensive care while her baby boy, Ollie*, was cared for in the neonatal ward.

Ollie's condition was touch and go, and there was a real chance he wouldn't make it. It was a terrifying and difficult time for Chloe's partner and family. During his time in hospital, as Chloe recovered from the birth and complications, baby Ollie was tube fed donor breast milk.

As the days went by, with around-the-clock support, Ollie grew stronger. Doctors told Chloe the donated milk had made a big difference.

Jemina’s newborn son was failing to put on weight.
Like any new mum she was starting to get concerned. The solution from her lactation consultant was clear, increase his milk feeds, but Jemina’s own breast milk supply couldn’t meet her baby’s demand.

For many women the answer would have been simple: Millions of babies take formula every day. It’s safe, it’s easy, it’s healthy.

It’s a good choice.

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