All you need to know about breast milk banking!

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Why you should bank your breast milk

Many mothers who give birth to premature babies in neonatal intensive care units don’t produce milk immediately, or enough of it. Others experience health complications and can’t breastfeed. If their babies can be fed donated breast milk instead of formula, it dramatically increases the baby’s chances of survival and offers greater protection against life-threatening infections like the intestinal infection, necrotising enterocolitis. Donated breast milk also helps preemies gain weight and grow faster. This is why donated breast milk is the next best option when the mother’s own milk is not available.

See Also: Common difficulties mothers encounter with breast milk

Who can bank their milk?

A healthy, lactating mom with an excess of breast milk can make donations. It’s important that you have not received a blood donation in the past year, that you are a non-smoker, that you do not consume alcohol regularly and that you are not on any medication. Donor mothers do need to undergo blood tests to be screened for HIV and hepatitis B.

How does banking my breast milk work?

  • Donor moms complete an online screening questionnaire.
  • SABR contacts you telephonically to refer you to your nearest sign-up facility.
  • Arrangements will be made for the necessary blood tests.
  • You will receive all the information you need for the safe storage of your expressed milk, which will be collected from you.
  • Your breast milk will be screened, pasteurised and distributed to help save the lives of premature babies in neonatal intensive care units.

Every drop counts and small donations can also be used, so don’t be put off from donating if you don’t have a particularly excessive supply. To find out more click here.

 

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