South Australia Is Getting A Breast Milk Bank

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South Australia’s most vulnerable babies will have access to pasteurised donor breast milk through a new partnership.

SA Health and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service are joining forces for Milk Bank. The initiative will mean the state’s smallest babies can access to pasteurised donor breast milk delivered straight to the neonatal nursery, supporting both families and their babies at a critical time.

“Our Milk Bank will mean neonatal nurseries in South Australia will be able to order pasteurised breast milk on demand, just as they currently do for blood, to help these premature babies,” says Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s Shelly Park.

“The Milk Bank will screen donors, collect, process and test the donated breast milk, then track and distribute this precious resource.” 

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) and Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) will be the first neonatal nurseries to utilise the Milk Bank by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, providing pasteurised donor breast milk to preterm babies in their care.

Jennifer Gillis, a WCH Neonatal Nursing/Midwife Educator, said the service will be invaluable for preterm babies.

“While a mother’s own milk is the best, many babies born prematurely in Australia do not have access to a sufficient supply of their mother’s own breast milk,” Ms Gillis said.

“Breastmilk increases immunity, is high in nutrients and is easy for their immature digestive systems to process.

“Should supply of a mother’s own breast milk be insufficient, pasteurised donor breast milk is the preferred alternative.”

To see how the Milk Bank will work, and even how you can donate, visit milkbank.com.au.

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