For premature babies in South Australia there is no access to a regular supply of donated breast milk.
That is no longer the case!
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has established its first milk bank!!
Life-saving donations of pasteurised donor human milk will be delivered to premature babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units in South Australia, The Australian reports.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service Milk Bank says, “our Milk Bank will help provide access to pasteurised donor human milk, until their mother’s supply of breast milk comes in, or these tiny babies can feed directly from their mum.
With more than 90 years of experience in processing, testing and manufacturing biological products, we are in a unique position to help even more patients across Australia.”
How does it work?
The service will collect excess breast milk from mothers in the metro Adelaide area and send it to the Blood Service’s Sydney processing centre where it will be tested, processed, stored, then distributed.
Donors will have to meet eligibility criteria, established through a lifestyle questionnaire and blood test to screen the donor for infectious diseases.
Mothers that want to donate must show they have enough milk for their own babies and answer questions about their baby’s health before they can donate.
The milk is also tested using a pre- and post-pasteurised sample before it can be passed on to the hospitals.
The service is calling on more mums to get involved.
Anyone wanting to donate has to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Whether you’ve smoked or used nicotine replacement therapy in the last 6 months
- How much alcohol you regularly consume
- If you’ve used recreational drugs in the past 12 months
- Whether you’re at risk for certain blood-borne diseases including vCJD (the human form of the condition sometimes known as ‘mad cow disease’)
- If you have received blood products (excluding Anti D) in the last 12 months
- The age of your baby
- The amount of breast milk you’re expressing
- Whether you’re over the age of 18
For more information visit, Australian Red Cross Blood Service Milk Bank.