Australian Red Cross Blood Service Milk Bank

TUESDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2018

This September, we are excited to launch the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Milk Bank, which could help change the lives of thousands of babies born prematurely every year. The Milk Bank is the newest aspect of our commitment to a greater contribution to health care, and a unique opportunity to help Australia’s tiniest patients.

Premature babies can often face significant health challenges1 when they arrive in the world a little earlier than expected. These challenges can include being unable to feed directly from their mother in the early weeks to receive the appropriate nutrition. 

To help bridge that gap, 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.

Pasteurised donor human milk could be life-changing to a premature baby and may reduce some of the challenges these babies and their family face2. Donated breast milk is recommended by the World Health Organisation3 as a better alternative to infant formula when a mother’s own milk isn’t available, which is why we want to work with hospitals to ensure they have access to a reliable supply of pasteurised donor human milk.

We are now collecting breast milk from generous voluntary mothers in Adelaide so we can provide pasteurised donor human milk to Neonatal Intensive Care Units in South Australia to help babies grow. 

If you live in the metropolitan area of Adelaide, and you have 2 litres or more breast milk to donate, please visit www.milkbank.com.au or call 1300 459 040

References

[1] PDF iconReport of the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network 2016

[2] Quigley M, Embleton ND, McGuire W. Formula versus donor breast milk for feeding preterm or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Jun 20;6:CD002971. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002971.pub4.

[3] World Health Organization Donor human milk for low-birth-weight infants

 

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