Is donor milk safe to use?
A very through screening of donor mothers is carried out and the milk is pasteurised which kills most viruses and bacteria and it is tested after pasteurisation. It is infinitely safer to use donor human milk than cow’s milk based formula milks which can easily become contaminated and can cause severe disease especially in low birth weight infants.
Does pasteurization kill all beneficial properties in breast milk?
Amazingly pasteurisation does not kill all the beneficial properties in breast milk. Most nutrients are left unchanged and only very few components such as IgA and lactoferrin are affected – and the effect is minimal with about 60-80% of the activity still remaining in pasteurised milk. Despite this minimal destruction donor human milk is far superior to cow’s milk based formula milks, which do not have many of these important immune components.
Does donor milk have sufficient energy/calories for preterm infants?
Every effort is made to give preterm infants donor milk expressed from mothers of a preterm infant, to ensure it is closely matched to the recipient requirements. If not, term milk is used which is still preferable to using artificial substitutes.