New milk bank ensures best start for premature babies in Queensland

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Date published:

September 27, 2021

Type of support:

Press release

Public:

General public

Queensland’s premature babies will have vital access to breast milk, with the opening of a new Australian government-funded milk bank in Brisbane to provide donor breast milk to state hospitals.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said breast milk has been shown to be effective for the health of premature and sick babies who cannot breastfeed.

“Without breast milk, premature babies spend more time in hospital and are at greater risk of infection and sepsis,” said Minister Hunt.

“They are also at great risk of contracting necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that has a tragically high death rate.

“Human milk banks collect, sort, process and distribute donated human milk as a better alternative to infant formula for premature babies. The demand for donor milk for premature babies is estimated to be around 7600 liters per year across the country. “

As part of the 2019-2020 budget, the Australian government provided $ 2.0 million to Lifeblood to expand its coordinated network of donor breast milk banks.

Brisbane Federal Member Trevor Evans praised the opening of the milk bank and Australian Red Cross Lifeblood’s commitment to infants in Queensland.

“Lifeblood – in conjunction with the Queensland Milk Bank – established the facility six months ahead of schedule,” Mr Evans said.

“Babies in a network of 19 Queensland hospitals are already receiving breast milk that gives them life and protects their well-being.

“But that’s only part of the important job of the milk bank. The new Brisbane facility will also enable our leading scientists to undertake innovative research into new therapeutic applications using bioactive compounds in milk.

“This work will help develop new products to help premature and sick babies thrive. “

Lifeblood now supplies pasteurized donor breast milk to 30 hospitals in four states. With funding provided by the Australian government, Lifeblood is on track to meet the goal that, over the next 18 months, all premature babies in Australian neonatal intensive care units requiring donor breast milk have access.


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