Human Milk Bank in Croatia: initial experiences

Donated human milk is the best substitute for breast milk in the case when the mother cannot feed her baby. Human milk banks provide safe and high quality donated human milk. That was the reason why the Human Milk Bank was established in the Croatian Tissue and Cell Bank at the Zagreb University Hospital Centre in January 2020. The Bank works in accordance with the Law on the Application of Human Tissues and Cells. In this paper, we present the results of the Bank work since from its opening until June 2020. Due to logistic reasons caused by the COVID-19 epidemic and the earthquake in Zagreb, the Human Milk Bank did not collect milk for 43 days. Milk was donated by 31 mothers. Their median age was 31 years and 81% of them had high education level. In 52% of cases, mothers started donating milk three months after giving birth. Most donors donated milk only once (45%). The median period of donation was 46 days. The majority (52%) of donors gave birth for the fi rst time, in the expected term of childbirth (94%), birth weight was >2500 g. Only three of donors’ children (9%) were in intensive care. A total of 175.5 L of milk were collected (mean 5.7 L per donor), of which 151.5 L met the requirements of input quality control, and 141 L were pasteurized. A critical number of viable aerobic and facultative bacteria were identifi ed in 32.6% of milk pools prepared for pasteurization, and 8.9% after pasteurization. For clinical use, 78.7 L were dispensed in three neonatal intensive care units. The Human Milk Bank has already shown the importance of its activities during the fi rst months of operation. In order to be able to meet the needs for donated human milk at the national level, it is necessary to constantly inform mothers about the importance of human milk and to promote its donation. Key words: MILK BANKS; CROATIA
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 64, No 2, april - june 2020
Authors: Branka Golubić Ćepulić, Jurjana Novoselac, Anita Pavičić Bošnjak, Ivana Leskovar, Koraljka Gojčeta, Vladimira Rimac
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2020;64:103-10

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