Why Donate Breastmilk?

working together with ABMB - Australian Breast Milk Bank

Why Donate?

Lack of breast milk supply affects around 1 in 3 mothers1, but usually only for a few days. There may be a problem with milk coming in, or any number of pre or post birth problems, such as gestational diabetes or C-sections to name just a few.

The only alternative for newborn babies is formula, which comes with risks. We believe all new parents have the right to provide breast milk as the optimal food for their baby, and we want to empower and help parents with that choice.

ABMB sources donated milk only from mothers living within Australia.

If you’ve got excess expressed breast milk, we encourage you to share the abundance and help give another baby what you gave yours: the best start in life.

Giving will make you feel good and free up your freezer, for you know, food!

 

1 Source: Breastfeeding in Australia, 2001 – Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Why Do Premature Babies Need Donor Human Milk?

Initiating and establishing human milk for mothers of premature babies can be challenging as result of their prematurity, the labour and birth, and understandably, a mother’s high anxiety about their wellbeing.

Lack of breast milk is also a problem for adoptive and gender diverse parents, and babies who’ve lost their mothers, and whose grieving partners are desperate to find a supply of safe donor milk for their baby.

ALL these parents need our help in finding 100% safe donor human milk – if only for a few days, but sometimes for a few months.

YOU can help these parents by safely donating your excess breast milk. This free and easy service can be organised in as little time as you take to make a cuppa.

 
 
What is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) and how does Donor Human Milk help?

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) develops during pregnancy and while generally managed by diet, some women need to receive insulin to manage their blood sugars.  GDM usually resolves after the birth of the baby. However, an increasing number of women are developing non-insulin-dependent diabetes later in life.

 

While GDM doesn’t directly affect a mothers’ ability to breastfeed, some notice their milk is slow to ‘come in’ which can result in the regrettable advice to ‘top their baby up’ with formula.

 

Using Mothers Milk Bank Pasteurised Donor Milk provides a human milk alternative enabling mothers to REJECT topping up with cow milk formula, reducing associated formula risks and lead to increased probability of exclusive breastfeeding with all of its short and long-term health benefits.

 

Thanks to the findings of the DAME2 study, a protocol has been established to help women identified with diabetic-related issues commence breast massage and express  from the 36th week of their pregnancy.

 

Gentle hand-expressing twice a day has enabled many women to express and store their colostrum in readiness for the baby to use as ‘top ups’ if required while maintaining the impetus of exclusive and frequent breastfeeding necessary to effectively establish the milk supply.

 

Sadly, as reported in the DAME study, there are women who are unsuccessful at expressing and who then face the unwanted choice of giving formula.  Supplementing their baby with formula can have a negative knock-on effect as “infant formulas are high in casein, making them harder to digest compared to human breast milk”3 . This means formula takes longer to process than breast milk, so making babies sleep longer which negatively reduces the number of breastfeeds required to initiate and establish breastfeeding in the early days in hospital.

The lactation consultants and midwives at Mothers Milk Bank who have helped pregnant women with GDM initiate antenatal expressing, are well aware of the significant numbers of their clients who were not able to express colostrum and have faced the heartbreak of needing to give formula.

Alternatively, they have seen how empowered women feel when they are able to provide donor expressed breast milk to their babies without interrupting skin-to -skin contact with their baby, or the frequency of breastfeeding needed to establish their supply.

 

Our MMBC Pasteurised Donor Milk is not intended to take the place of antenatal expressing or to replace breastfeeds in the early days post-birth. It is the perfect complementary feed to any breastfeed that will not hinder or delay a mothers’ milk coming in. On the contrary, a mother is less stressed giving MMBC’s PDHM as her preferred choice as a supplemental feed. Why? Skin to skin contact is maintained, the PDHM is perfectly and easily digested, and the frequency of feeds and stimulation of the breasts is not interrupted.

 

1 Debi Ferrarello, MSN, MS, RN, IBCLC, NE-BC, Elizabeth B. Froh, PhD, RN, Tyonne D. Hinson, DrPH, MSN, RN, NE-BC, and Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN “Nurses’ Views on Using Pasteurised Donor Human Milk for Hypoglycemic Term Infants” 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc
 

2 Forster DA, Moorhead AM, Jacobs SE, Davis PG, Walker SP, McEgan KM, Opie GF, Donath SM, Gold L, McNamara C, Aylward A, Ford R, Amir LH 2017, “Advising women with diabetes in pregnancy to express breastmilk in late pregnancy (Diabetes and Antenatal Milk Expressing [DAME]): a multicentre, unblinded, randomised controlled trial.” The Lancet, 389(10085): 2204-2213.
 

3 Camilia R. Martin, Pei-Ra Ling and George L. Blackburn “Review of Infant Feeding: Key Features of Breast Milk and Infant Formula” Nutrients 2016, 8, 279 Reference: ‘Protein in Human Breast Milk’ Page 3 of 11

 
Mothers Milk Bank Establishes Australia’s first Emergency Reserve of Human Donor Milk.

Be it flood, fire, natural or man-made disaster, no state in Australia has yet any emergency networking provision for the supply of safe donor human milk to all young infants unable to be temporarily breastfed, especially in remote communities.

Got Milk? Why Australia’s EMERGENCY RESERVE would love it!

MMBC’s ‘Human Milk Emergency Reserve’ is greater in scope and community benefit than any other human milk bank in the world.

In partnership with our sponsor, the Australian Breast Milk Bank, our unique combination of patent-applied processes and advanced food processing is transitioning human breast milk banking from underfunded, underdeveloped hospital-based processes into deliverables meeting 21st century parenting trends, environmental and health emergencies, including the potential risks of two or more concurrent or sequential coronavirus-arbovirus outbreaks.

With our shortly to be introduced Freeze Drying, our Human Milk Emergency Reserve will have a shelf life measured in months/years with delivery at ambient temperature to any parent for any infant by Australia Post irrespective of how remote.

Our Freeze-Dried output will not be materially different in its nutritional and bioactivity than thawed milk direct from the freezer of the donor.

Targeting specifically mothers with no or low supply at birth, it will enable mothers to avoid formula, so lifting breast-feeding rates and decreasing risks of post-natal depression.

Outcomes include reducing health spending on short term infant conditions (e.g. diarrhoea, pneumonia) through to childhood obesity and long-term risks including diabetes and cancers.

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