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Milk Bank

(19 Posts)
Vap0 Fri 19-Aug-16 17:04:07

Does anyone know anything about milk banks at hospitals? I know our hospital has one which is great. I was hoping to harvest colostrum but my hospital don't want me to as it can bring on labour and baby is breech. I'm hoping that I won't need it and I'll be able to feed myself but if I can't for whatever reason is there any special criteria for getting milk bank milk? Or is it open to anyone who can't feed their babies themselves? Also, is milk bank milk better than the aptamil 1st milk? I'm wondering if it will be rich enough as it obviously won't be colostrum? Am I right to assume human milk will be better than formula no matter what?
Thanks in advance

YorkieDorkie Fri 19-Aug-16 17:15:46

Your hospital is sensible for suggesting you wait until birth! No one can know for sure how feeding will go but anxiety around it is not a good start! I'm a milk donor and the literature I received was specifically around providing milk for SCBU. I very much doubt a healthy baby would be given donated milk.

When baby is born, utilise your MW support and get them to show you over and over and over how to latch on. Lots of stimulation and your milk will come. I think you're preparing here for a "disaster" that hasn't happened yet! At the moment your baby being born safely is the priority.

I genuinely thought I wouldn't ever get milk because I was 5 days post birth and still nothing (EMCS). My milk came on day 5-6 and was so late because I was literally OBSESSED about there being no milk the whole time I was in hospital. Adrenaline counteracts oxytocin production which is what's needed to stimulate your milk so it's important to be relaxed about it.

And lastly, a FF baby is still a FED baby and that is most important flowers.

Trulyamnearanear Fri 19-Aug-16 19:36:43

I second pp about the link between staying relaxed and milk coming in. I found the more I stressed about it the harder it was. Only when I tried meditation and breathing techniques could I get my milk to let down. smile

RainbowTortoise Fri 19-Aug-16 20:56:04

My baby was in neonatal for a week, she was born at 36 weeks and had air round her lung. The doctors told me she needed 15ml of milk every 3 hours (she was being tube fed). I could barely hand express 1ml of colostrum so I asked about donor milk. They seemed surprised and said it's for the really 'needy' babies, the really prem ones. I was really disappointed to be honest. Im sure you will be fine, trust and have faith in your body. Good luck!

lljkk Fri 19-Aug-16 21:08:32

It's 14+ yrs since I was a donor... when I was a donor, the hospital bank was only for premies -- because the milk was hugely beneficial to them. Regular newborns will be ok on formula. Even the premies only got a tiny amount of real milk -- it wasn't all their nutrition, even.

You can always ask the bank how things work nowadays, but I think they generally have a shortage of donors so not a lot to spare.

They do screening tests, of course, for anything infectious. There are rules about who can donate.

lljkk Fri 19-Aug-16 21:10:35

..also, some hospitals don't have any donor milk, they manage without, or only very limited supplies they get from banks at other hospitals.

Relative was gifted some milk for a newborn adopted baby. Obviously, you have to have a lot of trust to use that.

DeccaMitfordsEntryVisa Fri 19-Aug-16 21:12:10

I always thought that donor milk was for sick and premature babies

Hope things go well for you OP

dylsmimi Fri 19-Aug-16 21:18:40

I donated to a milk bank - and they aren't everywhere we had one for a large area.
The literature said it was for very poorly babies as its easier to digest so those who are very premature etc
In some cases it is also for post transplant recovery but not all the time
I think you are best not worrying about it and see how breastfeeding goes once your baby is here and then remember even if they have a tiny bit of colostrum that is great and anything else is a bonus. But don't put pressure on yourself

YorkieDorkie Fri 19-Aug-16 21:23:32

And to bring it back to reality... It's like you've already decided that you won't be able to produce any milk! Being a new mummy you really do just have to take each day as it comes. Don't create problems for yourself. Follow the advice of your MWs and your milk will come cake.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Fri 19-Aug-16 21:38:42

DS was induced at 37 weeks and we got donor milk for a few days, but I was unconscious for 3 days so I think we were equivalent to the neonatal/preemie gang in that respect.
He was EBF until 10 months after that though.
Please don't worry just now, the vast majority of people don't need donor milk which means it's there if you do. I know how concerning it can be though, especially as it's a huge unknown, so sympathise with how you're feeling.

Good luck with everything!

Nan0second Fri 19-Aug-16 21:50:02

Incidentally, of course you can express and freeze your own colostrum from 36 weeks. It will not bring on labour if you do 10 mins of hand expression twice a day from then.
If it was that easy to go into labour, we wouldn't need to spend hundreds of pounds on medication and midwifery and medical staff every single day inducing women...
(I am an obstetrician so I do know what I'm talking about!)

Brownsauce83 Fri 19-Aug-16 22:04:27

My daughter had donor milk for her first week whilst in scbu. To those of you who have donated milk - you are incredible! I was so grateful she was able to have this due to other women's generosity. I then went in to breastfeed, albeit supplementing with formula, for two years.

YorkieDorkie Fri 19-Aug-16 22:15:59

Nan0second that does make sense, however the OP said her baby was breech. I would think it pretty irresponsible of the hospital to encourage nipple stimulation in this instance as it is possible it could bring on labour? What are your thoughts?

The only person I know to have expressed milk before birth, ended up with awful engorgement, mastitis and then her milk disappeared on antibiotics within a week. My opinion was that it was completely unnecessary for her to have been expressing beforehand anyway.

TheClacksAreDown Fri 19-Aug-16 22:41:19

With dc2 I expressed colostrum as I had gestational diabetes and those babies can have blood sugar issues. If you are breech I'm not sure why they are so resistant - it isn't the issue that eg transverse is. I was advised to stop if I got any contractions but told this was rare and if it did happen normally coincidence.

If you have a healthy term baby I would be amazed if you would be given donor milk via the hospital. I am a milk bank donor but there arent many of us so they will save it for those who are very prem and/or very sick. It makes a material difference to the survival chancea those babies.

Vap0 Sat 20-Aug-16 00:21:46

Thanks for all your responses

Sorry, I forgot to mention I have GD which is why I was so keen to harvest colostrum in the first place, just in case we have sugar problems with the baby. It sounds like this wouldn't count as enough of a problem for baby to have milk bank milk.

I'm pretty sure I won't have any problems with milk supply as have been leaking for months but just wanted to prepare myself for the possibilities ahead.

To all you milk bank donors, well done and thank you, it's such an amazing thing to do.


NovemberInDailyFailLand Sat 20-Aug-16 02:10:52

I've looked into this, too (I can't breastfeed) but it generally is only given to very tiny babies.

You can find donors privately (there are fb groups) but as a pp said, it's the safety aspect and possible inconsistent supply that puts me off.

CatsCantFlyFast Sat 20-Aug-16 02:29:09

There are things you can do to help your milk come in once your baby is here. Firstly remember, unless in NICU, your baby won't need more volume than the drops of milk you are producing for the first few days. She/he won't be hungry, or need big feeds. Putting your baby to the breast often, day and night will help. If there's a reason you can't put your baby to the breast then use s hospital grade pump every 3-4 hours (including once overnight) for ten mins on each breast. Initially it's best to do this after hand expressing colostrum into a syringe so the colostrum isn't lost in the pump. (I've just got my milk to come in on day 3, exclusively pumping as dd2 is prem and in NICU)

Nan0second Sat 20-Aug-16 22:46:42

Nope. No issue with being breech. We recommend all our diabetic patients express. That includes all with placenta praevia, 4 previous caesareans etc.
As I said, if it was that easy to get someone to go into labour...

F1ddlesticks Sun 21-Aug-16 04:48:29

I'm T1 diabetic and expressed colostrum safety from 36 weeks. DD did have low sugars despite excellent control and was given formula in SCBU. I'll be expressing more colostrum this time as I think what I'd taken wasn't enough. I'd go about researching that option if I were you. And as a PP said, a FF a baby is a fed baby. This time round I'm going to really lower my expectations about BF and if I end up giving DC2 formula I won't beat myself up about it. Good luck - it's great to be researching everything so you feel mentally prepared but as many before me have said, don't make yourself anxious about it!

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