Parents of Premature babies

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. This may have happened a little sooner than you’d planned, and we understand you may be facing some mixed emotions and needing to make some unexpected decisions.

An important part of caring for your baby in neonatal intensive care is nutrition. While your own breast milk is the best nutrition for your baby1, this isn’t always possible. At times, mothers of premature babies have difficulty providing enough milk. This is where we can help.

What does pasteurised donor human milk mean for you?

Pasteurised donor human milk is recommended by the World Health Organisation as a better alternative to infant formula2. It may reduce the risks of some of the health challenges premature babies face because it is easier to digest, coats the gut, protects the gastrointestinal tract, and improves feed tolerance.

Premature babies generally tolerate breast milk well and they can receive it through a feeding tube. This means drips can often be taken out sooner, reducing the risk of some infections.

Breast milk donors

Our donors want to help families like yours. You won’t know exactly who the donor is, but you will know they’re a generous volunteer.

Each donor goes through a screening process to ensure the donated milk is as safe as possible for your baby’s stomach. After collecting the donated breast milk, we test and process it before distributing it to our hospital partners, where with your consent it’s given to your baby.

Safety first

Safety is at the heart of everything we do.

We work hard to meet international standards, from screening and testing of donors to the testing, processing and distribution of our pasteurised donor human milk. 

The Milk Bank adheres to the similar rigorous safety processes as all biological products used by the Blood Service – one of the world’s safest suppliers of blood.



  1. Schneider N, Garcia-Rodenas CL. Early Nutritional Interventions for Brain and Cognitive Development in Preterm Infants: A Review of the Literature. Nutrients. 2017 Feb 23;9(3). PubMed PMID: 28241501. Pubmed Central PMCID: PMC5372850. Epub 2017/03/01. eng