SHOULD PREEMIES USE DONOR BREAST MILK?
Would donor breast milk be best for preemies? You have probably heard the quote “breast is best.” This is true for all babies regardless of if it is from the baby’s mother or other sources.
Preemies are especially susceptible to more illness and disabilities later in life. Previously premature babies have been excluded from receiving donor milk. This is due to the fact that doctors and hospitals were concerned with the safety of the milk.
Research shows that donor milk can be incredibly beneficial for preemie babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the governing body for pediatric doctors, has embraced breast milk in the neonatal unit. Donor milk is now available in NICU as long as the proper safety protocol has been followed.
The AAP does discourage buying donor milk from online sources and “milk-sharing”.
HOW IS DONOR BREAST MILK SAFE?
Donors are subject to hepatitis and HIV screening’s prior to donating. Donated milk is often pasteurized and then cultured. Regardless of the fact that pasteurization does kill off some of the good bacteria; It’s an essential step before the breast milk can be given to infants.
WHY IS BREAST BEST?
Breastmilk is the IDEAL nutrition for an infant. The list of benefits is long and even effects the child for the rest of his or her life. For a quick and dirty list, breastmilk helps fight off viruses, bacteria, infections, allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, reduces hospitalization, fewer ear infections, fewer respiratory illness, etc.
Mother’s milk is best for the infant, but if that’s not possible than using donor breast milk could be the next best thing – even for preemies.