King Edward Memorial Hospital
PREM Bank FAQs for Recipients
The PREM Milk Bank provides breast milk to babies from donor mothers. This milk is
collected, pasteurised and then frozen into small amounts ready for babies in need.
Pasteurisation is a process where milk is heated to a temperature that kills bacteria
and viruses, but retains many of the immuno protective components. A microbiological
sample is a taken before and after the milk is pasteurised to ensure it is safe. The
PREM Bank is confident that breast milk that has gone through this process is very
How safe is the milk that my baby will have?
Before we can accept donated milk to the milk bank, a number of questions are asked
of donor mums relating to general health and lifestyle. All potential donors are
triple screened. This screening is similar to that of blood donors, including verbal
and written questionnaires and blood testing. The blood test ensures that the donated
milk is free from viruses and infections that can be transmitted through to the breast
milk. These include:
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 and 11 is responsible for AIDS (Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS is the name given to a collection of diseases that develop
because the body's immune system breaks down.
- Hepatitis B and C are viruses cause inflammation and infection of the liver.
- Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection.
- HTLV 1 and 11 are leukemia virus types and most common in Southern Japan, the
Carribean, parts of Africa, South America and South Eastern USA. Many people who carry
these viruses have no symptoms although they will be infectious.
The PREM Bank is unable to accept donor milk of mothers whom
- Consume more than two glasses of alcohol per day
- Consume more than three cups of caffeine containing drinks per day
- Take regular medication
- Take herbal medications or mineral supplements greater than the recommended daily allowance
The PREM Bank has been established to provide the safest delivery of breast milk to babies
in need. Should you have any further questions please discuss this with a milk bank consultant.
What is best for my baby?
Human milk is the best food for human babies. Although artificial formula is processed and
formulated to be nutritionally similar to human milk, it contains none of the immuno protective
properties found in breast milk. Using pasteurised human donor milk from healthy screened donor
mums is a better and safer alternative when feeding preterm babies. PREM Bank aims to offer this
milk as an alternative to infants in need.
Can I meet the milk donor who provides milk for my baby?
Generally individual donors do not meet the specific babies, mothers or families
who donate their milk. This is part of the PREM Bank policy.
Is this process confidential?
The PREM Bank is required by law to ensure confidentiality of our donor and
recipient mothers. All personal information obtained is kept in strict confidence.
Sometimes we may ask if you would like to participate in research or community
awareness of the milk bank, but we will always contact you first.
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