We are an NHS human milk bankset up in 2004 by Wirral university Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
One of only 17 milk banks in the UK.
Based at Clatterbridge Hospital but is part of the Women and Children's services at APH.
Pasteurises over 500 Litreseach year and provides donor milk to APH, LWH, AHCH, St Mary's, Manchester, Blackpool and other neonatal units in the north of England. LWH have usedalmost 90 litres in the last 12 months.
Healthy breast feeding mothers are recruited from most areas in the NW but in the main from Wirral and Liverpool. They agree to blood tests and lifestyle/medical screening. Milk is collected regularly from the mothers' homes by a small team of hospital volunteers.
The pasteurised milk is used for premature and sick babies and any hospital can access the milk bank to request donor milk. It is well documented that human milk is the best nutritionfor all babies and especially beneficial to sickand premature infants when the immunity and development is immature. Human milk contains all the essential growth hormones and protective factors necessary fornormal development and is knownto aid the recovery of sick babies who haveundergone surgery.
Mothers in the neonatal units are always supported to provide their own breast milk for their premature babies but this can often be an emotional and challenging time for them. Often, the mother is unwell after a complicated or premature birth andthe baby needs feeding. Donor milk can help bridge the gap until mother is well enough to produce her own milk. Ensuring exclusive human milk feeding can alsoreduce the risks of major gut infections, namely necrotising enterocolitis.Clinicians and nurses in the neonatal unit value the therapeutic qualities and benefit donor milk can offer to this vulnerable group of babies. A growing number of units are now stocking pasteurised donor milk from the Wirral Mothers' Milk Bank.
In addition, the Mereyside branch of National Blood Bikers now voluntarily transports milk from the milk bank to requesting hospitals.
Further information can befound by visiting www.ukamb.org
Also www.amazingbreastmilk.nhs.uk (the joint breast feeding campaign website for Wirral and Liverpool)