Human milk banking should be encouraged and promoted in Canada, says a new position statement released by the Canadian Pediatric Society. Donated pasteurized breast milk is a move that could help many premature and sick infants.
“Most of the children’s parents wish for their newborns to receive human milk as their nutritional source. When a child is born preterm, however, there may be many barriers to these children receiving their mother’s milk,” the study reads.
The only human milk bank in Canada is located in Vancouver and many more are needed the pediatricians say.
Some of the main recommendations of the CPS include:
• The preferred nutrition for the newborn is his/her own mother’s milk. When this is not available or is limited, pasteurized human donor breast milk is a recommended alternative for hospitalized neonates.
• Pasteurized human donor breast milk should only be prescribed following written informed consent from a parent or guardian.
• Education of parents about the benefits of human breast milk or pasteurized human donor breast milk is essential to parental choice and informed decision making in prescribing an optimal feeding plan for hospitalized neonates.
• Milk banking should be adopted as a cost-effective nutritional source for hospitalized neonates because it reduces disease incidence and severity, thus reducing resource use during the hospitalization.
What your body needs when breastfeeding