The Canadian Paediatric Society in the current issue of Paediatrics & Child Health has called for milk banking of donor breast milk across Canada.
It is universally accepted that breast milk is the optimum exclusive source of nutrition for the first six months of life, and may remain part of the healthy infant diet for the first two years of life and beyond. Despite advances in infant formulas, human breast milk provides a bioactive matrix of benefits that cannot be replicated by any other source of nutrition. When the mother’s own milk is unavailable for the sick, hospitalized newborn, pasteurized human donor breast milk should be made available as an alternative feeding choice followed by commercial formula. There is a limited supply of donor breast milk in Canada and it should be prioritized to sick, hospitalized neonates who are the most vulnerable and most likely to benefit from exclusive human milk feeding.