Presentation Information

Natalie Shenker

The Resurgence and Role of Human Milk Banking

  • Speaker: Natalie Shenker , BM BCh (Oxon), PhD (Imp)
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits:
Abstract:

Evolution has created human milk as a way to protect the baby postnatally, patterning the immune system and microbiome, and providing diverse developmental cues for each organ system to develop normally. Milk also provides nutrition. When screened donated human milk (DHM) is available, mothers facing the most stressful circumstances of having an ill premature baby tend to have high chances of establishing breastfeeding. If donor milk is used appropriately as a bridge to lactation, they are less likely to perceive that their bodies have failed. The work of the Hearts Milk Bank over 18 months have laid the foundation for a UK-centred drive to upscale milk bank capacity, facilitate research to determine the optimal use of donor milk, and support a shift in perception about the role of human milk, underpinned by the latest science.