Conflict of interest: None declared.
Breast milk banking: Current opinion and practice in Australian neonatal intensive care units
Version of Record online: 12 SEP 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2012 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 48, Issue 9, pages 833–839, September 2012
How to Cite
Lam, E. Y., Kecskés, Z. and Abdel-Latif, M. E. (2012), Breast milk banking: Current opinion and practice in Australian neonatal intensive care units. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 48: 833–839. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2012.02530.x
Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Funding Source: Private Practice Fund, Canberra Hospital covered the cost of Online Survey.
- Issue online: 12 SEP 2012
- Version of Record online: 12 SEP 2012
- Accepted for publication 22 March 2012.
- breast milk;
- breast milk bank;
- pasteurised donated breast milk;
- very low birthweight.
Aim: To find out the knowledge and attitudes of health-care professionals (HCPs) in Australian neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) towards breast milk banking (BMBg) and pasteurised donated breast milk (PDBM).
Methods: Cross-sectional structured survey of HCPs in all 25 NICUs in Australia.
Results: Response rate was 43.4% (n= 358 of 825). Participants included nurses and midwives (291, 81.3%) and the remainder were neonatologists and neonatal trainees (67, 18.7%). A variable number of HCPs agreed that PDBM would decrease the risk of necrotising enterocolitis (81%) and allergies (48.9%), 8.4% thought PDBM will carry risk of infections and 78.8% agreed that PDBM is preferable over formula, but only 67.5% thought that establishing breast milk banks (BMBs) are justifiable. Significant differences were found between doctors and nurses/midwives, with 19.4% of doctors compared with 5.8% of nurses/midwives agreed that PDBM carried an increased risk of infection. Although, over 90% of nurses/midwives and 70% of doctors agreed that the donation of breast milk is important, only 71% of nurses/midwives and 52.2% of doctors thought that setting up a BMB was justifiable.
Conclusion: The opinions about BMBg differ widely between HCPs; however, the majority support the practice. HCPs had different knowledge gaps in regard to BMBg. Nurses/midwives positively view the practice of BMBg more strongly compared with neonatologists.