21 December 2023

Milk Bank freezer bags for neonatal deliveries

The Southampton Milk Bank supports neonatal units across the south of England, and thanks to funding from Southampton Hospitals Charity, they now have specially designed freezer bags to transport the milk.

Tania Gane, Southampton Donor Milk Bank, says: “Earlier this year, University Hospital Southampton (UHS) issued a plea for milk donations as our reserves were running low.

The Southampton Milk Bank at UHS sends milk out to neonatal units throughout the south, and as far as the Channel Islands.

Donor milk is primarily used when mothers of premature babies struggle to establish their own milk supply, or if they are unable to breast feed due to physical illness.

Breast milk from donors protects babies from blood infections and necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), a serious intestinal disease that affects premature or very low birth weight infants. It also improves digestion of milk in babies who have had tummy surgery.

The generous mums who donate their milk help so many sick and premature babies, and this is then transported by volunteer courier bikers from the SERV Blood Bike Team directly from the donor’s home.

The SERV team are crucial for neonatal units across the south. They have covered 19,964 miles since 2021, and this year alone have delivered milk to 71 neonatal units and collected milk from 136 donor homes.

Thanks to funding from Southampton Hospitals Charity, the Milk Bank have been able to buy specifically designed freezer bags to fit onto the SERV motorbikes. These hold more bottles, are lighter and easier to keep clean, so I personally want to thank everyone who has donated to the Charity, making this purchase possible.”

Southampton Milk Bank

The Southampton Donor Milk Bank is looking to recruit donors whose babies are less than six months old, do not smoke and consume under two units of alcohol a week. If you are interested in learning more, please email Milkbank@uhs.nhs.uk or call 023 8120 6009.

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