thread: Milk banks..would you use one?

  1. #1
    HipBubbyMama Guest

    Milk banks..would you use one?

    I have raised on a few other forums the idea of a petition I am intending to send out - and have received some very positive responses on two forums, very negative rude ones on others I am starting a petition to send to the relevant health authorities, suggesting the introduction of milk banks in Australia. It seems a lot of mums would love to be able to use donated breastmilk if they cant feed their babies themselves (for whatever reason, short or long term) as long as the milk had been tested for diseases and was sterile etc. Seeing as feeding a baby another mothers breastmilk is third on the WHO's list of best ways to feed an infant (after breastfeeding from the mothers breast, then EBM from the mothers boobs fed in a cup or bottle) and it comes BEFORE forumula, which is FOURTH on the list of preferred feeding methods-it seems crazy to me that there are no milk banks.

    So my question is-would anyone here consider using a milk bank if they were unable to breastfeed their babies? Would you donate yourself? This is providing the milk was of course thouroughly tested for diseases, and was treated in a sterile and safe manner. (as it is in milk banks overseas)

    If you would, would you consider signing this petition?

    Thanks for reading

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2005
    Bunbury, WA

    Guys I resurrected this just to see what yous think (Probably ignore the petition etc, its old) but just if youd consider it?


  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2003
    Wodonga, Vic

    I remember my mchn saying something about this. She mentioned Melbourne in regards to it being done but I don't know if it was just the prem bubs that were getting the milk. I would donate prob. I am a really good milker when it comes to expressing. I suppose it's loke blood. Once sterilized and tested, then it still should be better than formula.

    I must keep an eye on this thred as it could be interesting.

  4. #4
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia

    I actually know of someone in the postnatal/breastfeeding industry who's already been lobbying to set one up, I think she's gotten stacks of info together and is in the process. I will see if I can find out where she is up to for a progress check.
    Kelly xx

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  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    Wow just the otherday I mentioned to the girls with young babies that in other societies they often have wet nurses or relos or other bf'ing women feed their bubs if there is a problem.... so this is interesting!

  6. #6
    Custardtart Guest

    It just makes sense to me- if for some reason I couldn't produce milk for my newborn, I'd be thrilled if this were available as an option. Last time I breasfed I had way too much milk at times, so I would gladly have donated, too.


  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    I don't know all the details but there is one opening or opened already in Victoria, All I know is its a privately run thing and there are plans to open more all over Australia.

    Just for the record, I think I would go out of my way to be able to donate milk. And If I ever needed too I would go out of my way to use it as well.

  8. #8
    katanya Guest

    I would DEFINITELY donate milk and use it if we needed it..I have already discussed with a breastfeeding friend that we'd try to supply milk for each other if one got sick..

    I would go out of my way too, I used to have heaps in the fridge from an oversupply problem, it never got used such a waste..

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    Just today I tipped out FIVE bottles of EBM that I had in the freezer but after about 4 months it hasn't been needed and was looking a bit strange so I thought best to dump it and start a new stash.

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2005
    out and about

    When the twins were born and still in the SCN the nurses used to joke that I could feed all the bubs in there, coz I was expressing every 3 hrs, they had about 32mls each and i was producing around 250 ml!~! SO I definately would have some to spare, and would quite happily share it around.

  11. #11
    katanya Guest

    Forgot to mention, I have a friend who was born @ 28 weeks, she is 36 now. When she was in the NICU her mum and the other mums would express and they'd put it all in a big vat and give each baby what they needed. She breastfeed's her daughter but was a little horrified at the idea..I said to her, wow that is probably why you are so healthy now. because you had all those women's antibodies..how wonderful..then she thought about and realised it was probably true..

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    Isn't it amazing that some people shudder at the idea of having had another womens milk yet are happy to drink another speices milk.
    Its not like its urine!!!

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    Australia's first milk bank
    August 12, 2004 - 1:06PM

    Australia's first milk bank is to start offering breast milk to new mothers in Victoria from the beginning of next year.

    Melbourne-based lactation consultant Margaret Callaghan plans to open the private service which will pasteurise milk donations and offer them to mothers who cannot produce enough for their own babies.

    The proposal has raised questions about how the new service would be regulated.

    Ms Callaghan said the private company setting up the Victorian milk bank planned to set up in NSW next and then to establish clinics nationwide.

    She said new mothers who wanted to donate would be screened for disease and would then express the milk at home.

    "It wouldn't be like a cow shed," she said.

    The milk would be pasteurised and given to premature babies whose mothers for some reason could not provide enough milk.

    Premature babies would be targeted initially as they were the most likely to suffer necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), or bowel blockages, after being fed formula, she said.

    Mothers milk also aided neurological development and reduced the risks of infections, Ms Callaghan said.

    Hospitals used to provide excess milk from new mothers to babies who needed it until the rise of the spectre of AIDS in the 80s.

    Ms Callaghan said that as the average age of mothers increased, so had the demand for breast milk.

    "I have people ringing me saying 'Where can I get some human milk from'," she said.

    The president of paediatrics and child health of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Professor Don Roberton today said any move to make breast milk more available was positive as long as the milk was properly screened for disease.

    Professor Roberton said human milk had advantages over formula, especially for premature babies.

    "But we also have to be very aware of any potential risks that might occur with human milk," he said.

    Breast milk would need to be carefully screened in the same way donated blood was, he said.

    Breast milk banks operate in the UK, the USA and parts of Europe but the prospect of them opening in Australia has raised the question of who is responsible for their regulation.

    A Therapeutic Goods Administration spokesman said a breast milk bank would be a state rather than a federal responsibility.

    A spokesman for the Victorian Department of Human Services said a breast milk bank would come under the State food act.

    The operators would have to show their product was "free of infection and fit for human consumption" and convince the government that they had strict screening processes in place, he said.

  14. #14
    Debbie Lee Guest

    My step-sister is from the USA and she was shocked to hear that we don't have milk banks here. When she BF'd, she had enough milk to feed the 5000 so she mentioned donating to milk banks. When I told her that they don't exist here she thought that was really strange.
    I am not sure I would want Gabby having milk from someone else but that's because I can feed myself. If I wasn't able to, it might be a different story. Very interesting.

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    Yeah if there wasn't a need to use another mothers milk then you wouldn't but if I had the choice of using Breastmilk or Formula, I would choose to use the breastmilk for as long as I could.

  16. #16
    Ex adm!n, quietly rusting....

    Feb 2004

    That article says that the milk is pasturised, I wonder if that makes a difference?

    My milk didn't come in, so I've had to formula feed Zander from day 3 but I don't think I like the thought of giving him milk from a milk bank. But whoever said we drink milk from an entirely different species makes me think about it in a different light. I think my main issue is infectious diseases being passed on.....

  17. #17
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    I don't think I could do it, but I know logically as sarah said how strange that sounds after we drink cows milk LOL! I recently saw on the news a woman feeding some baby tigers at a zoo somewhere, and I don't think I could do that either. But having said that if there was no formula and I couldn't bf I would do anything to keep my baby alive so I dunno :-s its a hard one.


  18. #18
    Ex adm!n, quietly rusting....

    Feb 2004

    I saw that too about the woman breastfeeding the tigers. Can I just say I hope they don't have teeth LOL!!