Not all mothers are in the fortunate situation of being able to feed their child with their own breast milk. A women's milk bank can help to provide the offspring with the nutrient-rich meal. The need for breast milk is greater than the supply.
The healthiest meal for newborns
Breastmilk is the "healthiest and best meal for newborns" due to its ingredients and tolerability, according to a recent press release from the University of Greifswald. But the "Superfoood" is more than just a food. Breastmilk also offers "lifelong benefits, as it reduces, for example, the risk of becoming overweight or diabetic later," the experts write. But not all mothers are in the happy situation to be able to feed their child with their own breast milk. This is where a women's milk bank can help.
preemies thrive on breastmilk
According to experts, premature babies thrive better when they receive the strangers instead of artificial milk. Various studies indicate that premature babies receiving breast milk are less susceptible to intestinal, lung and eye inflammation. It also stimulates the mental development of the premature baby.
In recent years, women's milk banks have become popular again after a wave of closure in this area in the 1970s to 1990s. Last year, for example, the first West German breast milk bank for premature babies opened in Dortmund.
Direct skin contact good for preemies
According to the European Milk Bank Association( Emba), 15 women's milk banks are currently working in Germany, 13 of them in thenew federal states. In 1959, 86 women's milk banks were counted in Germany, 62 of them in the GDR.
Quality of donated milk is closely monitored
Concerns about the quality of milk are apparently unjustified. According to the statement, donated milk is subject to the same strict criteria as a blood donation. The quality of the donated milk is therefore extensively examined for viruses and bacteria before it is passed on to other infants.
"Similar to blood donation, we are dependent on donations of young women who can not fully use their milk for their own child," explained Prof. Matthias Heckmann, Head of Neonatology and Pediatric Intensive Care."It would be very helpful for our premature babies and sick babies if our dairy bank becomes better known and if there are more women supporting us with a donation." Because the demand is greater than the supply.
experts advise on hygienic requirements
On Wednesday, the first "Dairy Kitchen Conference" will take place at Greifswald University Hospital, where experts from all over Germany are expected to exchange experiences. Among other things, it discusses the hygienic requirements and the special use of breast milk in premature infant nutrition.(ad)