Human milkbanking is a service which collects, screens, processes and dispenses human milk donated by nursing mothers. Because the milk is dispensed to recipients, who are not related to the donor, every precaution is taken to provide a safe product.
- Donor mothers undergo health and lifestyle screening, also blood tests for HIV, Hep B&C, Syphilis and HTLV
- Milk is expressed hygienically in the donor’s home, frozen and collected regularly by milkbank staff
- Milk is defrosted, pooled and bottled using tamperproof lids. NO mixed pooling between mothers
- Milk is tested. Bottles with bacteria above recommended safe levels are discarded
- Milk is heat treated to 62.5oC for 30 mins to ensure a completely safe product
- Following pasteurisation, milk is refrozen (shelf life 3 months) Trackback labels ensure all milk can be traced and recorded.
“Where it is not possible for the biological mother to breast feed, the first alternative, if available should be the use of human breast milk from other sources.
Human milkbanks should be made available in appropriate situations”
The United Kingdom Association for Milk Banking is a registered charity that supports human milk banking in the UK.
Their motto is Every Drop Counts and they believe that the provision of safe and screened donor breastmilk makes an important contribution to the care of the premature and sick infants who receive it.
They give practical support to the milk bank staff who co-ordinate the provision of donor breastmilk for premature babies and they share expertise and good practice with milk banks and with breastmilk donors.
They represent milk banking in the UK at a national level and their aim is the formation of a national donor breastmilk service that would supply infants throughout the UK according to priority of need rather than according to the chance location of an infant’s birth.
They also run conferences, produce newsletters and hold meetings all of which share and disseminate information about milk banking.
In these ways they have supported the existing milk banks and UKAMB has been of fundamental importance in providing the necessary support for all the newly opened milk banks in the UK.
They aim to ensure everyone working in this small field is able to benefit from our collective experience and knowledge; overseas, newly established milk banks in Africa and Australia have benefited from the work of UKAMB and many countries receive support in their endeavours to start banks of their own.
UKAMB has been largely responsible for the resurgence of interest in human milk banking in the UK. Since the year 2000, there has been a year on year increase in the number of donors and the volumes of donated breastmilk collected.
For more information visit the UKAMB Website