World Day of Human Milk Donation

19th May 2021

Since 2006, the 19th of May has been recognised as World Day of Human Milk Donation.


Not all mum’s can supply enough milk for their newborn babies and this is particularly true for preterm infants.  Preterm babies who are fed human milk are at much lower risk of life threatening complications like sepsis and NEC which is a major gastrointestinal problem.


Australia’s first human milk bank opened at KEMH in 2006 (PREM Bank) and has supplied nearly 10,000 litres of donor milk to babies in need. Donor mums are screened and the milk is processed before making it available to those babies.


A donated litre of milk is worth $250 but, through the prevention of health complications, babies can go home earlier and healthier. Up to $360 000 per year is saved as a direct result of using donor milk.


KEMH and PREM Bank are world leaders in researching the benefits of human donor milk in premature babies. We should be very proud of and thankful for PREM Bank – the fund raisers, researchers and, most importantly, the donor mums.



This article has been written by Dr Liz Tompkins


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