Why Donor Human Milk Belongs in Mom Baby Units

Do you experience pushback when asking for Pasteurized Donor Human Milk (PDHM) for your mom baby unit? You are not alone in facing this challenge, and we are here to support you. Leadership may not understand why PDHM is vital for all babies, but we do! Here are a few key points to help educate your leadership team and get buy in.

In terms of cost, PDHM is a cost-effective intervention. Since there is no minimum order, having a few bottles on hand costs less than $100. With a low price point, PHDM is accessible for even the smallest hospitals.

Not only is it cost effective, but PHDM also aligns with hospital priorities. Whether your hospital is designated Baby Friendly, is on its way to obtaining that designation, or simply wants to provide the best possible patient care for infants and families, donor milk supports hospital goals and can help elevate your reputation. Having PDHM available is something parents look for when choosing a facility and gives your hospital a competitive edge.

Part of that reputational capital comes from PDHM’s thoroughly-researched effectiveness. PDHM is evidence-based and is supported by multiple organizations for treating ailments in newborn patients. The AAP, ACOG, Surgeon General, and many other notable organizations support the use of PDHM.

Perhaps the most important point is that all babies deserve access to the best nutrition possible, and that is what PDHM provides. Babies in the mom baby unit can experience the following, each of which PDHM can help address:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Jaundice
  • Early Weight loss
  • Late preterm birth
  • Latching challenges
Birthing parent holds new baby after birth

Ultimately, donor human milk is also an investment in breastfeeding. Supplementing with PDHM supports the start of a successful lactation journey and can help set up parents for long-term breastfeeding success.

I am passionate about PDHM, not only because of my role as Director of Clinical Relations for Mothers’ Milk Bank, but also because of my personal connection. My son, Hudson, was born at 36 weeks and had hypoglycemia. I was devastated by this diagnosis, but being offered donor human milk as part of his treatment helped soften the blow. As a second-time breastfeeding mom, this seemingly simple offering meant the world to me. I cannot express the huge relief and positive impact of having donor milk provided from a patient care perspective. It made me feel that my baby and I were cared for in a beautiful, unique way. My plan of exclusively feeding breast milk was honored and the beginning of my breastfeeding journey was nurtured by having donor milk available. Now, I am proud to be working for the very milk bank that provided my baby with the donor milk he received.

As you navigate these conversations with your team, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am happy to be a resource for whatever you need! Contact me anytime for more information, research, and support at Rachel.goodman@rmchildren.org or call 720-507-0926