Several social media and mailing lists often introduce breast milk donors. Breastfeeding donors are one way to help babies who have difficulty getting breast milk. This can be caused by the death of the mother, the baby entering the NICU, the mother being sick, being in an incubator, breast milk that is difficult to get out, the milk supply that runs out and the baby is abandoned
The question that arises is whether breast milk donors are safe and how best when donating breast milk or receiving breast milk donors? This article will discuss breast milk donors in terms of health, the impact on the health of mothers and babies, both donors and babies who are breastfeeding donors.
What is a Breast Milk Donor?
Mothers want to give their best to help the baby’s growth and development even though sometimes they experience unsupportive conditions, one of which is when the mother has difficulty giving breast milk. Now known as breastfeeding donors, namely as an alternative that supports exclusive breastfeeding.
Donor breast milk is given from mothers who are breastfeeding who have excess supply of milk to babies who need breast milk. Breastfeeding donors must go through several procedures considering that it will increase the spread of the disease. Thus the breastfeeding donor system must go through information, skills and counseling to provide practical assistance.
Who can be a breastfeeding donor?
Breastfeeding donors are mothers who are breastfeeding and have excess milk so that they can be given as assistance to babies who need breast milk. The screening stages for mothers who will be breastfeeding donors are as follows:
- Breastfeeding donors have babies who are less than 6 months old.
- The donor is declared healthy and has no contraindications to breastfeeding so that he can donate breast milk.
- Excess milk production and is sufficient for the baby’s milk needs so that it can donate ASI.
- Breastfeeding donors are declared not to have received transfusions or organ transplants in the past 12 months.
- Not taking drugs that affect the baby.
- Donors have no history of suffering from infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis and others.
- Donors do not have sexual partners who are at risk of spreading infectious diseases.
- Donors must go through screening that helps test for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other viruses that can be transmitted through breast milk.
- When having doubts about the health status of the donor, it can be done once every 3 months
- When the coating stage is complete, the breast milk test is continued so that it is free of bacteria by heating the breast milk.
Who receives breast milk donations?
As quoted from the AIMI-ASI.org site, breastfeeding recipients are babies who have conditions like the following:
- Infants who have inherited metabolic disorders, in other words, suffer from galactosemia, maple syrup urip disease and phenicotenouria.
- Babies born with very low body weight less than 1500 grams or babies born prematurely under 32 weeks gestation
- Babies who experience impaired increased glucose requirements are at risk for hypoglycemia, if blood sugar levels experience a response to breastfeeding.
- Babies who are experiencing acute fluid loss, so they need more breast milk
- Babies experience a weight loss of 7-10% after 3-5 days due to lactogenesis II
- When the baby is in the form of meconium on the 5th day after delivery.
The reason for babies who are given breast milk donors is because there are health problems experienced by the mother when breastfeeding. Some conditions, such as mothers who are HIV positive, are unable to provide breast milk to babies. Then the mother experienced serious illness resulting in psychological problems and also the presence of herpes virus infection, varicella zoster infection before and after childbirth.
Health conditions such as mothers who receive cytostatics, mothers are consuming types of anti-inflammatory drugs other than propylthiouracil. In addition, mothers who experience abnormalities in breast tissue so that it does not develop and experience abnormalities in the breast. Thus, breastfeeding becomes obstructed and makes babies need breastfeeding donations.
Is donor breast milk safe for babies?
The quality and safety of donor breast milk is urgently needed. Breast milk must include cleanliness from the way of storage, giving to expressing breast milk. Prospective donors should receive training in how to express, store and clean so that quality milk is maintained.
In addition, before expressing breast milk, donors must maintain safety, starting from washing hands using soap and then expressing breastmilk in a clean place. If the mother uses a pump, it should be cleaned so that it is not contaminated with bacteria.
Finally, pay attention to the cleanliness so that the storage method is completely closed, clean glass bottles or use plastic containers made of safe materials such as polycarbonate or polypropylene so that breast milk storage procedures can be considered.
In addition, examination using laboratory screening will help to find out that breast milk is not contaminated with various types of viruses or bacteria. However, in Indonesia there is no laboratory that helps to screen HTLV.
While the safety of breastfeeding donors must go through stages so that it cannot be said that all are safe. As explained above, breastfeeding donors must go through a test stage to be declared safe. Meanwhile in Indonesia it is still based on information from donors that the donor is healthy and breastfeeds a healthy baby, does not have hepatitis or HIV.
Thus, giving donor breast milk must be adjusted to the health of the donor which affects the quality of the donated breast milk. Donor breast milk can help to support exclusive breastfeeding for babies so that with donor breast milk, babies who are struggling due to various factors, both mother and baby health, can be assisted by donor breast milk.
In breastfeeding, donors must get a health check, especially if they want to donate to find out that the mother does not have an infection from viruses or bacteria that can cause health problems in the future for babies who receive breast milk from donors.
Giving donor breast milk So that if it is decided to use donor breast milk, what must be done is to do 3 techniques on donor breast milk in order to reduce disease transmission. The first step is pasteurization of the holder. Generally done in ASI banks because it requires a temperature meter and also a timer.
Meanwhile, the next step is the Flash Heating technique and also pretoria pasteurization. For flash heating, 50 ml of breast milk is stored in a glass bottle and then heated using a 450 ml glass bottle. After the temperature is cold, it can be given to babies in need.