premature babies will have a better chance of fighting off life-threatening
infections and disease with the first statewide donor human milk bank to open
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said donor human
milk will be pasteurised in a
purpose-built centre, run jointly by
the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and NSW Health.
babies are born every year in NSW at less than 32 weeks gestational age, or of
a very low birth weight and many need specialised care,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Breast milk is
liquid gold for these little ones at this critical time, as it contains all the
vital nutrients essential for growth and protection against disease.
“Many mums of premmie babies can
experience problems with their milk
supply but now mums can access donor
milk, while efforts to boost their
own supply continue.”
Pasteurised donor human
milk is recommended by the World Health Organisation as a
first alternative to infant formula when there is insufficient mother’s milk available.
Cross Blood Service spokesperson Jenni Mack said the Milk Bank based at
Alexandria in Sydney will operate under world’s best practice standards.
“Just like a
blood bank, the Milk Bank will screen donors, collect, process and test the
donated breast milk, then track and distribute this precious resource,” Ms Mack
For very low birth weight infants and those born before 32 weeks
gestational age research shows human milk reduces the risk of the potentially
life-threatening gut- disorder necrotizing enterocolitis and bacterial
For more information on the Milk Bank click here and
to download footage click here.