King’s Mill Hospital is the first place in the country to trial breast milk donation. It’s more effective than formula milk for premature babies.
The trial was set to run for six months, but has been extended due to the high success rate.
King’s Mill Hospital, near Mansfield, takes babies born before 36 weeks into their neonatal, intensive care unit. The babies are fed breast milk that has been donated by other women across the country. This is because the babies are either too weak to breast feed, or because the mother doesn’t have enough milk to provide for her new born.
All the milk is closely screened and safe to use, making it an excellent substitute for formula substances.
King’s Mill neonatal unit are confident that the breast milk will help babies born early to fight infections, help digestion and aid growth, making the babies grow stronger.
Jo Lincoln set up the trial, saying it was something the hospital had to have.
“The benefits of it are enormous. It takes the pressure off the parents when they are expressing their own milk and the nutrition is fabulous.” – Jo Lincon, Infant Coordinator at King’s Mill.
Donated milk does come at a cost. In comparison to formula milk, it is £120 more expensive per litre.
Clare Harris, the founder of the Emily Harris Foundation, has been working closely with King’s Mill neonatal unit to raise money for the trial.
Clare lost her first child who was born prematurely and thinks more hospitals should consider using breast milk donations.
“Here we are in position with our most vulnerable babies, who are being given formula milk, when their mums are unable to give themselves. It seem really counter productive” – Clare Harris, Founder of Emily Harris Foundation