KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), Singapore General Hospital (SGH), National University Hospital (NUH)
1 in 10 babies are born preterm in Singapore. Due to inadequate supply of their mothers' milk, 80% of premature and sick infants receive formula milk, either partially or exclusively, during their hospital stay.
Formula milk increases the risk of complications, such as feeding intolerance and a potentially fatal gut condition, known as necrotising enterocolitis.
The Donor Human Milk Bank programme aimed to provide safe, pasteurised donor human milk for premature and sick babies whose mothers are unable to provide an adequate supply of breast milk for them. The first donor human milk bank was therefore established at KKH to provide safe, pasteurised donor human milk for premature and sick infants under the care of KKH, NUH and SGH. Donors were recruited with stringent donor criteria, and an appropriately equipped facility processed, pasteurised and stored the donated human milk.
From 2016 to 2019, the Donor Human Milk Bank programme recruited 483 donors and benefitted 1,029 premature and sick infants.