Breast Milk Sharing


Reviewed by Clinical Practice Committee
December 2015
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Applies to all staff who work in Newborn Services

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Breast feeding and breast milk provides nutritional, protective, and economical benefits to mothers and babies. If maternal breast milk is not available or not available in sufficient quantities, donor breast milk may be requested. The cultural personal and or physical factors affecting infant feeding are to be respected and staff are to support and assist woman in their choice of infant feeding. To promote safe breast milk sharing these three principles need to be followed:

Currently Auckland District Health Board does not have a donor milk bank facility or facilities to pasteurise breast milk.


Donor Breast Milk

  • Human breast milk donated by a person other than the biological mother.


  • This is the person providing the breast milk.


  • This is the baby who will receive the donor breast milk.

The following information should be available to parents



1 Informed choice:
To provide patients with the knowledge to make a safe decision regarding sharing breast milk.
2 Donor Screening:
Breast milk may contain viruses and substances that may be transmitted to infants. Health and risk screening is required from a prospective donor to confirm the milk is suitable for recipient use.

Link to screening questionnaire
  • Screening questionnaire must be sited by GP,LMC, Neonatologist or other health professional involved in the screening process.
  • The donor mother must be given guidance on expressing and storage of breast milk.
4 Legal Documentation
5 Copies of screening information
6 Information on administration of donor milk

Administration of Donor Breast Milk


1 Gribble, D,K (2012) Biomedical Ethics and Peer to Peer Milk Sharing Clinical Lactation, 3.3 pg 109-112 .
2 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2010) Donor breast milk banks: the operation of donor breast milk services. London: National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence.
3 World Health Organisation, UNICEF, Global Strategy for infant and young child feeding. Geneva. WHO, 2003
4 Simmer S, Hartmann B (2009) The knowns and unknowns of milk banking. J Early Human Development, 85, pg701-704
5 Scott S, O’Donaghue K, Carpenter M, Daley A. Directed donations of Breastmilk. Infection Control and Prevention Department, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
6 Canterbury District Health Board; Donor Breast Milk Health Screen
7 Capital Coast District Health Board; Use of Donor Breast Milk Policy

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