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Please help families who have a baby in real need!

GIVE BREASTMILK to the Mothers’ Milk Bank Human Milk Emergency Reserve

Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine, states:

"Given the reality that mothers infected with coronavirus have probably already colonized their nursing infant, continued breastfeeding has the potential of transmitting protective maternal antibodies to the infant via the breast milk.

Thus, breastfeeding should be continued with the mother carefully practicing handwashing and wearing a mask while nursing, to minimize additional viral exposure to the infant."

Mothers who are too unwell to breastfeed can continue to feed their expressed breast milk in a bottle and avoid the health risks of infant formula in infants under 6 months. Pasteurisation inactivates COVID-19 and renders pasteurised donor human milk safe. COVID-19 Update and Call for Donations

to the Human Milk Emergency Reserve

Professor Richard Banati, MD

Mothers Milk Bank Charity (Chair & Medical Director, MMBC)

Review of the current expert advice for breastfeeding mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic based on recent statements by

  • Word Health Organisation (WHO)

  • Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, USA (CDC)


  • UN Population Fund (UNFPA)

  • Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)

  • European Milk Bank Association (EMBA)

  • Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

  • La Leche League International

  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, UK

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

  • The Lancet (weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal).

(excerpts from the various statements issued by above institutions are listed below under Sources & References)


There is no evidence that the corona virus COVID-19 can be transmitted through breastmilk. Breastfeeding women infected with COVID-19 should, therefore,  not be separated from their newborns. Breastfeeding mothers with COVID-19 should wear a mask when close to their baby, wash hands before and after feeding, and disinfect contaminated surfaces.

Mother who are too unwell to breastfeed can express milk for the baby, and take the aforementioned general precautions.

Pasteurisation inactivates COVID-19 and renders pasteurised donor human milk safe in the event of contamination during expressing or handling of the milk.

Mothers who currently source donor milk informally can ask Mothers Milk Bank Charity’s secure cold-chain-transport service to pick up, pasteurise and deliver human milk from screened donors

Karleen Gribble and Nina Jane Chad have summarised what parents and carers need to know to prepare and respond. Where grandparents or carers over 60 help with childcare, alternative arrangements are recommended, as older individuals tend to be more seriously affected by the coronavirus.

Read More here

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At Milk Mate they understand that everyone’s breastfeeding journey is different, their products are here to help you and your little milk mate have the best experience possible.

Why choose Milk Mate?

Australian owned and operated small, family run business based in rural NSW. with safe products, non-toxic and sustainable.

If you’re a breastfeeding mum or mum to be, trying to successfully breastfeed, express and build a milk stash then Milk Mate products are made specially for you. Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is different and we understand how precious your milk is, so we’re here to help you capture your liquid gold, one drop at a time.

$1 from every Milk Mate breast pump purchase is donated to charity. In 2020 we are proud to be supporting this wonderful charity. 

The Mothers’ Milk Bank Charity collects, screens, pasteurises and distributes donated mothers’ milk to infants where mothers own milk is not available.

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ABC Sunshine Coast

By Owen Jacques

Six-week-old Willow falls asleep after having a feed from mother Danielle Martin.

ABC News: Melissa Maddison

Every Australian newborn could soon have access to donated breastmilk — no matter where they are — after scientists pioneered a way to convert the milk into powder without losing its critical life-saving properties.

Key points:

  • Scientists have taken three years to figure out how to process fresh breastmilk into powdered form that can be stored for years

  • It means every newborn should be able to access breastmilk through the newly formed Australian Breast Milk Bank

  • Those involved with the technology say it will save lives

While donor milk banks exist, both in hospitals and in the community, priority is given to premature babies who need shielding from complications or deadly diseases.

Scientists and lactation experts say the new technology means milk can be stored at room temperature for years, allowing it to be stockpiled and to support newborns otherwise unable to access milk.

Enough milk for every baby?

Mother's Milk Bank on the Gold Coast offers donated milk to all mums, but the need for refrigeration limits how much can be sent and how far.

It will now supply its donated milk to the newly formed Australian Breast Milk Bank, which will process it into powder.

From there, the packets containing five feeds can form part of a national emergency reserve and be dispatched with a pouch of clean water to anywhere in the country — even across the world.

Milk bank director Marea Ryan said the technology would save lives.

PHOTO: Australian Breast Milk Bank founder Marea Ryan says the new technology will save the lives of newborn babies and very young children. (ABC News: Jennifer Huxley)

"This is amazing. It's just going to transform the health of babies right across Australia," she said.

The goal of the new national milk bank is to have the equivalent of 33,000 litres of powdered milk in storage — enough for almost half a million feeds for a newborn.

At the moment, if a mum is unable to produce enough milk for their baby — perhaps due to stress or a medical issue — they either access a milk bank or begin using formula.

Ms Ryan said, once the bank reached capacity, any newborn who needed breastmilk would be able to access it.

She estimated that with four breastfeeding women donating one feed per day, the new bank could be fully stocked within two years.

A stressed mum and a hungry bub

Danielle Martin's six-week-old daughter Willow is happily sleeping on her lap. The pair seem content.

Danielle Martin with six-week-old baby Willow, who is finishing one of her morning feeds.

ABC News: Melissa Maddison

But Ms Martin, who lives in the Queensland town of Sarina, said feeding was not so blissful with her son Elijah, now 18 months old.

Within days of what she described as a "traumatic birth", she said her body was not producing enough milk to fill Elijah's belly. Ms Martin was eventually advised to switch to formula.

"He was starving. He wasn't getting enough from me," she said.

"I felt like I couldn't give him the one thing that my body should have been able to give him.

"I struggled to bond with him."

She said from there baby Elijah became constipated and irritable because the formula did not agree with him.

As her new baby battled so did she, eventually grappling with depression.

Ms Martin was not alone. A study of 2,500 women found those who had a negative experience with breastfeeding were more likely to endure post-natal depression two months after the birth of their baby.

In case of emergency, send in the milk

The ready supply of breastmilk could also help those newborn bubs whose lives are touched by natural disasters or, more recently, a pandemic.

Danielle Martin's 18-month-old son Elijah is thriving now, but she struggled to breastfeed him when he was a newborn.

ABC News: Melissa Maddison

Ms Ryan said it was not unusual for mums to produce less milk as a result of stress and upheaval.

She said the goal was to stop babies from having to go without, regardless of whether a family was fleeing a storm or were forced into isolation due to COVID-19.

"When we go through things like floods, droughts or fires, they can have the breastmilk there for these babies under 12 months," Ms Ryan said.

"Because at the moment we have no contingency plans for emergency reserves of this essential food for babies."

What it does, and how it works

University of Sydney Professor Richard Banati said the new technology took about three years for his team to perfect, and it was time to show the world.

Professor Richard Banati, from the University of Sydney, says the ability to convert breastmilk into powder could make Australia a world leader in protecting its young.

Supplied: University of Sydney,

"Australia could definitely become the first country to have absolute food security and food sovereignty for all its newborns," he said.

The milk powder acted as a top-up, so mothers could focus on recovering or building up supply — whatever was needed so they could continue to feed their baby.

The process allowed the milk to be freeze-dried, so the need for cold storage was gone.

"And it can last essentially for years," Professor Banati said.

"If stored at room temperature and under dry conditions, it can be sent around the world."

When a baby is forced to go without

Ms Ryan knows what it means to have to tell a mother they must go without breastmilk.

And in her career as a midwife, she watched babies perish because there was no alternative.

"I worked in a special care nursery and my role was to make sure that every baby in that nursery had breastmilk. I would go around and all the mothers with extra milk would give it to us," Ms Ryan said.

She said in the 1980s, a ban on sharing breastmilk came in as a result of rising HIV infections.

The deaths that followed inspired her to stop it ever happening again, and that led to the initial idea of removing water from breastmilk.

"When that stopped on the Friday, within three weeks, we had a baby that got an infection and died, which we'd never seen before," she said.

The new technology means pouches of powdered breastmilk can be sent to mothers anywhere in the country, or even the world.

ABC News: Jennifer Huxley

"I thought then, we are doing a disservice to the babies of the future because we're can't provide for them. And now we can."

Danielle Martin has a play with six-week-old baby Willow, who has woken up after her morning feed.

ABC News: Melissa Maddison

And while Ms Martin and baby Willow did not need powdered breastmilk for now, the Queensland mum knew what it meant for those who came next.

"I think it would have made all the difference honestly," she said.

"It's amazing they won't have to go through the same struggle that I did."

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