We’re here for all Australians. We provide people around the country with the life-giving essence they need to make the most of each and every day.
That’s why we’re helping Australia’s smallest patients with donated breast milk.
We have over 90 years of experience collecting, processing and distributing biological products. And we’re using that experience (and our infrastructure) to help us collect, test, pasteurise and distribute donated breast milk to babies in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. In the future, we’re hoping to expand our services to the rest of Australia, so watch this space!
Lifeblood Milk isn’t something we could do alone. Not only do we rely on the generosity of breast feeding mums, but we also needed a lot of government support. NSW Health and SA Health helped us get started, find the necessary approvals, and fund and enable day-to-day operations. The Federal Government has helped us expand our operations through funding support.
If you’re thinking about donating your breast milk, we are incredibly thankful. Giving breast milk is one of the most personal, life-fulfilling things you can do.
Thousands of babies in Australia are born early every year. When they’re born particularly early, they can face some unique health challenges.1
Breast milk may reduce the risks of those health challenges, because it’s easier to digest than formula, protects the gut and improves feed tolerance.
The problem? Some mums can’t supply enough breast milk for their own baby (especially since their baby can’t feed directly from the breast just yet). That means some of the most vulnerable babies don’t have access to breast milk.
That’s where generous people like you come in.
Premature babies are incredibly vulnerable. We need to make sure the breast milk they’re receiving is as safe as possible.
That’s why there are some eligibility criteria for donors (just like when you give blood).
Some things we'll look at include:
Don't worry - even if you can't donate, your breast milk is still the best nutrition for your baby.2
1. Gephart SM, McGrath JM, Effken JA, Halpern MD. Necrotizing enterocolitis risk: state of the science. Advances in neonatal care: official journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. 2012 Apr;12(2):77-87; quiz 8-9. PubMed PMID: 22469959. Pubmed Central PMCID: PMC3357630. Epub 2012/04/04. eng.
2. Quigley M, McGuire W. Formula versus donor breast milk for feeding preterm or low birth weight infants. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2014 Apr 22(4):CD002971. PubMed PMID: 24752468. Epub 2014/04/23. eng.
If you would like to become a donor, you might be interested in learning how the donation process works.
First, you’ll need to register your interest by filling out a simple form. Our team will review your information and give you a quick call to ask a few more questions. If you look like a good candidate, we’ll organise a time to visit you at home and follow up with a secondary questionnaire. Finally, a series of blood tests will be carried out. Once everything is approved, you’ll be ready to make your first donation.
After you donate, your milk is sent directly to a Lifeblood processing centre where it will be processed and tested to ensure it’s safe for our little recipients. Once it gets the tick of approval we’ll transport it to hospitals in need, to provide life-giving sustenance to some very little and very hungry babies.