USING DONOR MILK
Who Needs Donor Milk?
Who is Eligible?
Babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in state and private hospitals in the Western Cape may be eligible for donor milk from Milk Matters.
Donor milk is dispensed according to particular criteria so that:
- breastfeeding by the baby’s own mother is supported rather than undermined
- access to donor milk is given to babies most at risk of life-threatening complications
- donor milk is used where it will have the greatest benefit to the largest number of babies
Screened and pasteurised donor milk is supplied to hospitals, primarily for premature babies of less than 1.5kg.
Donor breastmilk stocks are finite and sadly it may not always be possible to meet every order.
Should you be interested in finding out more about accessing donor milk please contact Milk Matters.
DID YOU KNOWBrain growth in first 2 years of life…
Safety of Donor Milk
If a mother’s own milk is not available then screened, pasteurised donor milk is the next best option.
Milk Matters is dedicated to providing safe, donor milk to babies in need and has procedures in place to ensure the safety of the donor milk supplied to hospitals.
Image © Toby Murphy www.tobymurphy.com
Each donor mother is screened prior to being accepted onto the programme.
Every donor mother is required to:
- Complete a screening form covering relevant health and lifestyle issues.
- undergo blood testing (at the milk bank’s expense)
- Undertake to notify Milk Matters of any changes that might affect their breastmilk, e.g. breast infections, medication, etc.
Donor mothers are supplied with:
- Written guidelines on safe expressing and storage of their milk and other relevant information.
- Sterile containers for the milk they donate.
Breastmilk donors are at the heart of a milk bank – they provide the life-saving gift of donor milk.
Donors will never meet the babies they help, or even know their names, but they do know that their milk is perhaps the greatest gift they can give these babies.
Screening of Milk:
Milk samples are sent to microbiology laboratories to test for microbial contamination.
All milk donated to Milk Matters is pasteurised to destroy potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.
Studies have shown that pasteurisation kills viruses or bacteria (germs) that may be in the milk, yet does not destroy the beneficial properties of breastmilk. It still provides your baby with immunity, vitamins, minerals and the other beneficial properties of breastmilk.
Pooling of donor milk:
Milk from a single donor is pooled prior to pasteurisation, but milk from different donors is never pooled.
Distribution & Use of Donor Milk
Operating Milk Matters
Milk Matters made it easy and convenient for me to donate expressed milk.
It cost me nothing and took just a bit of my time. More importantly, I was saving a life, a little baby’s life.