August is National Breastfeeding Month! At Mothers’ Milk Bank, we believe a parent’s own milk is the optimal first food for newborns and work to support new families in their breast/chestfeeding journeys. We also know that sometimes, despite best efforts, supplementation is necessary. Luckily, there is a supplementation option that supports breast/chestfeeding: pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM).
At Mothers’ Milk Bank, we advocate for the use of PDHM for necessary supplementation and want to bring awareness to the unique support it offers parents in their lactation journey. Researchers believe there is a correlation between PDHM supplementation and longer-term breast/chestfeeding. In fact, they have found that infants who receive PDHM supplementation in the well-baby nursery are more likely to be breast/chestfeeding at six months than those who receive formula. (Gray et al.)
We also believe that PDHM is a powerful tool for parent’s lactation support. When paired with other support systems – ie. lactation consultants and breast/chestfeeding education – supplementation with PDHM can help parents find the confidence they need to continue their lactation journey.
Breast/chestfeeding is a deeply emotional experience for many parents. Use of PDHM and other support systems can alleviate stress when things don’t go as planned. When a parent is more relaxed, it is easier for them to feed their baby, and allows them to keep their breast/chestfeeding goals a priority.
During National Breastfeeding Month, we want to reiterate how important a parent’s breast/chestfeeding goals are. Human milk is the best food for human babies, and having access to PDHM when their own milk is insufficient or unavailable can make a huge difference for parents. If you would like to receive PDHM for your NICU or well-baby unit, please get in touch! We would love to help you implement PDHM into your practice.
- Gray K, Ryan S, Churchill M, Harder VS. The Association Between Type of Supplementation in the Newborn Nursery and Breastfeeding Outcomes at 2 and 6 Months of Age. Journal of Human Lactation. 2023;39(2):245-254. doi:10.1177/08903344221105810