Human Milk Banking
The Provincial Milk Bank Program at BC Women’s Hospital provides pasteurized donor human milk to premature and sick babies whose own mothers can’t provide any or enough breast milk. Most of the donor milk feeds those who need it most: the very ill babies who are admitted to the Newborn ICU at BC Women’s Hospital for specialized care and treatment. Milk is also shipped to sick babies in NICUs throughout British Columbia.
Donor milk banks are recommended by the World Health Organization, the Canadian Pediatric Society and U.S. Surgeon General due to the significant health benefits for sick babies. Research shows babies in NICUs receiving donor milk have shorter stays in the hospital and fewer hospital readmissions in the first year of life. They also have less risk of developing major chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, asthma and childhood obesity.