Facts about Donor Human Milk
Click on a fact below:
Donor Human Milk:
- Donor milk goes through a rigorous process of screening, testing and pasteurization, which ensures that donor milk is safe for medical use.
- While donor milk is not the same as mother’s own milk, research shows that donor milk can protect a specific group of infants - preterm or very low birth weight babies against life-threatening illnesses such as necrotizing enterocolitis — a severe bowel condition that primarily targets preterm babies.
- Donor milk is more easily digested by babies, which may mean fewer days of intravenous nutrition.
- Donor milk has unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that can potentially protect against a host of illnesses including serious infections and other complications related to preterm birth.
- Donor milk contains specific elements that protect the intestines against harmful bacteria and viruses.
- The Canadian Paediatric Society states that donor milk is a recommended alternative to formula in the absence of mother’s own milk for sick hospitalized infants.
- Health Canada approves the use of donor milk for selected hospitalized infants.
- Donor milk banking has been endorsed by the Canadian Paediatric Society, the American Academy of Paediatric and the World Health Organization.
Benefits for donor mothers:
- While it is known that breastfeeding offers a host of benefits to a mother including, a reduction in the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, a more rapid return to pre-pregnancy weight and a decreased risk of osteoporosis, the benefit of donating your surplus breastmilk is the knowledge that you are making a difference in the life of a sick baby and giving comfort to their families.
- 2010 marked the 100th anniversary of Milk Banking worldwide.
- Donor Milk Banking is common practice around the world.
- The most famous Canadian recipients of donor milk were the Dionne Quintuplets.
- There are two other donor milk banks in Canada, in Vancouver, BC and in Calgary, Alberta.
- The guidelines for donor milk banking were established by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America for which the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank is a member.