Endorsements for the Use of Donor Milk

 

Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, January 2011:

Action 12. “Growing evidence supports the role of donated human milk in assisting infants with special needs, such as infants in newborn intensive care units who are unable to receive their own mothers’ milk, to achieve the best possible health outcome.”

 

FDA Pediatrics Advisory Committee December 6, 2010 endorses human milk banking.  Meeting convened through the Pediatric Therapeutics Committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

 

Joint Commission’s Perinatal Care Core Measure on Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding, 2010:  Supplementary Feedings: “It is preferable to use milk expressed from the
infant’s own mother or donor human milk as a supplement; this practice would also allow the infant to be counted as exclusively breast milk-fed for the core measure.  If not already in existence, consider developing a policy and procedure that encourages use of mothers’ own expressed milk or banked human milk as a preference over formula, when supplementation is indicated.  Further information can be obtained from the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. “

 

WHO/UNICEF Joint Statement in 1980:

“In situations where mothers’ own milk is not available, provisions of pasteurized, screened donor milk is the next best option particularly for ill or high risk infants.”

 

CDC Breastfeeding Resources web page, responding to a question on donating breast milk:

“There are currently six milk banks in North America that are members of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), which promulgates standards for treating and dispensing the milk.  Just as donors of blood, organs and tissues are screened, so are women who donate their milk. Donor milk is pasteurized to kill bacteria and viruses, and then tested to ensure no bacteria are present.  Banked milk is then frozen until needed, and rigid protocols ensure careful handling at each stage of processing and distribution.”

 

The AAP Red Book 2009, Report of the Committee on infectious Diseases specifically recommends banked human milk for preterm infants:

“Some circumstances, such as preterm delivery, may preclude breastfeeding, but infants in these circumstances still may be fed milk collected from their own mothers or from individual donors.  The potential for transmission of infectious agents through donor human milk requires appropriate selection and screening of donors, and careful collection, processing, and storage of milk.  Currently, US donor milk banks that belong to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America voluntarily follow guidelines drafted in consultation with the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

 

ACOG Clinical Review, January-February 2007, Volume 12, Issue 1:

“Donor human milk is particularly beneficial for infants in neonatal intensive care units, primarily very low birth weight infants and those with gastrointestinal pathology (Schanler, 2001).  The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) is the only professional membership association for milk banks in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and sets the standards and guidelines for donor screening, storage, sterilization of milk, and modern distribution methods.”

 

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Position on Breastfeeding, 2008:

“ABM Accepts and Endorses [the] Human Milk Banking Association of North America, Position Paper on Donor Milk Banking.”

 

American Academy of Family Physicians, Family Physicians Supporting Breastfeeding Position Paper, 2008:

“Banked pasteurized donor human milk has been found to be safe and nutritionally sound for babies who do not have access to their mother’s own milk.”

 

American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding.  J Am Diet Assoc. 2009; 109:1926-1942:

“The value of human milk in reducing the incidence of [necrotizing enterocolitis] NEC has influenced the growing use of pasteurized donor human milk for infants at high risk for NEC (37-41).  When mother’s milk is not available, providing pasteurized donor milk from appropriately screened donors from an approved milk bank offers immunoprotection and bioactive factors not found in infant formula and is the next best option particularly for ill or preterm infants (4,39,41).  Only human milk from facilities that screen and approve donors and pasteurize the milk should be used because there is risk of disease transmission to the recipient from donors who are not screened and from the use of unpasteurized milk.”

 

Federal Government Source for Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services

“S/he may need donor milk, not only for food but survival.  If your baby was born premature or has other health problems, the best way to find a human milk bank is through the HMBANA (Human Milk Banking Association of North America).”