The Women's Milk Bank is a professional laboratory, which deals with the collection of human milk from women, who want to share their excess milk while feeding their baby. To become an Honorary Milk Donor, please contact us, we will conduct an interview regarding past or current diseases, treatments, medications, diet and lifestyle. Before qualifying as a donor, it is necessary to perform tests to exclude hepatitis B and C infections, HIV, CMV and syphilis. Milk donated to the bank is tested for microbiological contamination, nutritional values are also indicated: amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates and calories. So donors are women who lead a healthy lifestyle and eat properly, tested and aware of it, that their milk is a valuable medicine, which must be safe for another child.
Ability to help sick children, most often to premature babies by sharing their excess milk is an extremely positive experience for donors, while for mothers of recipients it is a consolation and rescue in difficult times after premature birth when their child is weak and sick and they do not have their milk yet, that could give him.
The Women's Milk Bank was established thanks to financial resources from the Norwegian Funds. Currently, in terms of organization and content, we benefit from the patronage and experience of the Bank Mleka Kobiecego Foundation from Warsaw.
The recipients of the milk will initially be patients of the Neonatal Department of the Clinical Center of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Neonatology in Opole and the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care for Children and Newborns at the University Clinical Hospital in Opole. If the idea of sharing milk finds support among nursing women in Opole, we will have a surplus of milk, we will offer cooperation to other hospitals in the Opolskie Voivodeship.
The bank is professionally equipped with specialized equipment such as : human milk pasteurizer, apparatus for testing the composition of milk, ultrasonic homogenizer, two freezers and a laboratory refrigerator. At the Women's Milk Bank we organized a comfortable and spacious Lactation Room for patients of our hospital and for breast milk donors who donate surplus milk to our bank. We have professional hospital-grade breast pumps. The staff employed at Bank Mleka underwent professional training at Bank Mleka in Warsaw organized in cooperation with the Bank Mleka Kobiecego Foundation. We work closely with the Clinical Center operating at the Center Lactation Clinic.
How to become a milk donor?
Any healthy woman can become an Honorary Milk Donor, who is lactating, feeds her baby and has surplus milk. Just contact a BMK employee, who will conduct an interview regarding past or current diseases, treatments, medications, diet and lifestyle.
Being a milk donor is not allowed:
- smoking cigarettes
- drink alcohol
- drink large amounts of caffeinated beverages (kawa, tea, Coke, pepsi, energy drinks)
- take certain medications
- take drugs.
Before qualifying as a donor, it is necessary to collect a blood sample for testing, the purpose of which is to exclude infections:
- hepatitis B and C,
Donor testing is important 3 months. We test the donor candidate's milk for the presence of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The donor agrees in writing to donate milk to BMK.
The milk bank provides breast milk donors with sterile pump bottles and bottle labels free of charge. We also rent bags – refrigerators to facilitate the transport of milk.
Milk provided by donors is accepted in the bank, each sample is legibly marked with the name and surname of the donor, date and time, the amount of milk is also recorded. We keep paper and electronic records.
Only milk from these mothers is qualified for further processing, that have successfully passed the qualification procedure. If the waiting for the results and thus the possibility of pasteurization lasts above 24 hours, milk should be frozen.
Milk intended for banking is pasteurized using the Holter method and frozen to a temperature of -20 st C, it is then stored in laboratory-type freezers or dispensed to wards.
The pasteurization process is electronically monitored by a temperature sensor, readings are made every 1 min. and transferred to the computer. This data is then printed and archived with pasteurization ID and donor ID.
Microbiological control of milk – 1 x a month we send a sample of pasteurized milk for culture for bacteria and fungi.
Holter pasteurization – is the process of heating milk to room temperature. 62,5 st C, then cooling down to temp. 2-4 st C.
Properties of pasteurized milk – How is it different from mother's milk?
In the process of pasteurization and during deep freezing to -20 st C, bacterial and viral contaminants are inactivated, including the CMV virus.
Carbohydrate content, of fats and mineral salts remains unchanged.
The level of fat-soluble vitamins is not affected.
Just 13% protein is denatured. There may be a reduced ability to digest fats as a result of lipase inactivation. The level of water-soluble vitamins- wit C, Folic acid- minimal losses. Secretory IgA , that binds bacteria in the digestive tract- remains 67-100% original activity. The level of IgG immunoglobulins remains 66-70%. Lysozyme, an enzyme involved in the destruction of bacterial cell walls – 75% activity.
Milk from BMK, that goes to the ward is marked, The expiration date and composition of the milk are indicated on the bottle. There is also a bar code with a number, with which we can identify the origin of the milk.
Rules for the sequence of milk supply from the milk bank:
- Nutrition of sick premature infants.
- Nutrition of "healthy" premature infants.
- Nutrition of sick newborns born at term.
- Nutrition of hospitalized neonates with a good prognosis on the effect of milk from a milk bank.
- Nutrition of full-term newborns, who are not breastfed for various reasons.
We have prepared a comfortable lactation room equipped with professional hospital-grade breast pumps at the disposal of patients and Honorary Milk Donors, milk cooler for temporary storage. One-day expressing kits are available that can be disinfected in the microwave.
Benefits of the existence of a milk bank
The percentage of women breastfeeding is increasing and the duration of breastfeeding in the center and region is increasing, in which the institution was established.
Access to lactation counseling is facilitated for all lactating women- not necessarily donors. Hospital staff are increasingly aware of the benefits of breast milk, especially for very low birth weight premature infants.
Please help us promote the idea of a milk bank
Any information to colleagues will help us, patients, friends, families about the existence of BMK in Opole.
Please direct potential donors to us, every amount of milk counts.
From Monday to Friday in hours 7:00 -14:30
tel. mobile 536 739 110,
tel. stationary 077 4545401 ext. 505
Fb profile – @bmkopole, Women's Milk Bank in Opole