Donor Milk Bank
Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity is proud to have funded the expansion of Scotland’s only Donor Milk Bank Service to care for the tiniest and sickest premature babies. Over the past few years we have invested more than £300,000 in this unique service.
Nearly 4,000 babies are born premature in Scotland every year. For babies who are born early, their organs and immune systems have had less time to mature, making them at greater risk of infection which can be fatal in their critical early days.
Making a difference
Often breast milk is the only thing a very sick or premature baby can tolerate and it is rich in the vital nutrients needed to protect new-borns from infection.
However, when new mothers have had a shortened pregnancy, it is likely that their breast milk has not had the chance to develop. When a mother’s own breast milk is unavailable, donor milk is the next best option - particularly for a baby that is premature.
We are proud to work in partnership with the NHS to deliver safe, screened donor milk to premature babies across the country who so desperately need it.
Caroline's son Cameron was born at only 31 weeks, weighing a tiny 3.5lb. Caroline chose to give him donor milk has her breast milk hadn't yet developed. She told us:
“When Cameron was about four days old they said he would be able to take milk but I wasn’t able to produce enough because he was born so early. I had mixed emotions when I heard about the milk bank. As a mum you want to do everything you can to care for your baby, but at the same time Cameron needed milk and I couldn’t provide it.
We were told there is a lot of screening done with the milk before it is given to babies so it is completely safe. That was my main concern. Although Cameron is still in hospital, he has improved so much through the support of donor milk. I really admire the women who donate, for their care and thoughtfulness for others.”
A Scotland-wide service
We are committed to improving the level of care and support available to Scotland’s sick and premature babies up and down the country. Our volunteer drivers travel all over Scotland collecting and delivering milk anywhere from the Borders to the Highlands, to ensure that neonatal babies have access to this life nurturing resource.
Donors express and store their milk in the appropriate temperature at home and then it is collected and delivered by Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity volunteer drivers to the Royal Hospital for Children for pasteurisation.
The donor milk can then be used within the hospital itself, or can be sent around the country to various health-care centres and to mothers at home.
The Donor Milk Service is one of the many ways that Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity cares for Scotland’s children. Find out about more our projects by clicking the button below.