Ethical Considerations

Australian Breast Milk Bank (ABMB) provides advisory, logistical and advanced processing services (pathogen testing, shelf-life extension and testing for purity including absence of recreational drugs) to enable the safe sharing of human donor milk in the community. 

ABMB’s certified experts and operations adhere to the WHO code1 and the ethical considerations contained within the code of conduct for International Board of Lactation Consultant’s 2[IBCLC] for midwives and midwife standards of practice.

Together with our affiliate, the registered Mothers Milk Bank Charity, ABMB promotes equity of access for mothers and parents with infants in need without discrimination of any kind.

1 The WHO Code is the abbreviated name for the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes 

2 Nursing and Midwifery Board

ABMB’s goal is to enable the safe upscaling and sharing of human donor milk to achieve security of supply for all Australian infants and young children as their human right to optimal nutrition in any situation where the birth mother is unable to breastfeed or provide breast milk.  

Inherent in this goal is the provision of ABMB’s non-thermally processed pure human donor milk in powder form to hospital units, other milk banks and governmental or non-governmental community support organisations requesting supply of our ‘Bridging Milk©’  for all critically ill or at risk babies or wherever support is needed during crisis and emergency.

To achieve this goal ABMB actively seeks donations of breast milk from Australian-based mothers only.

Ethically, ABMB sources donated milk only from mothers within Australia.

ABMB believes strongly that human milk should only be donated, pasteurised and used within the source country.  ABMB will process and freeze dry human milk from other countries but only on the strict condition that it returns to the same country for helping mothers with infants in need or where Australian donors agree to support an emergency situation under the auspices of the World Health Organisation, UNICEF or similar organisations. 

There is no shortage of donor human milk in Australia or scientific capabilities to process into pure human milk fortifiers and similar live saving derivatives.

Remuneration is not provided to a mother willing to donate her breast milk.

Paying for milk from mothers is known to introduce risks including mothers selling milk while feeding their own infants formula and bulking their milk with formula or other vegetable sourced ‘milk’ or bovine milk.

However, ABMB covers the costs of collection.  This includes the provision of any free phone support or information to any donor mother regarding breastfeeding, expressing or parenting, if required.

      In addition to processing, testing, safe packaging and delivery of our ‘Bridging Milk©’, ABMB has an active program of research and development for which it seeks philanthropic donations, grants and a wide range of in-kind support.

      There are a number of high priority projects, such as:

      • Non-thermal High Precision Pathogen Control
      • Creating the National Emergency Human Milk Reserve of freeze-dried milk for natural and man-made disasters within Australia
      • Portable Human Milk Banks for deployment wherever needed.

      Philanthropic donors or social venture investors are welcome to play an active role if they wish to do so. 

      ABMB’s ‘Bridging Milk©’ is produced from donor human milk, comingled to assure high quality composition with minimal variations between batches. The milk is non-thermally pasteurised under high power pressure and/or precision freeze-dried into powder to the standard of vaccines.

      Freeze-drying your milk preserves its immunological and biological functions, many of which are now being recognised as vital for the infant… and also important for the mother.

      This safe, convenient, patent-pending process therefore provides the best alternative food for infants and young children who are not breastfed.

      ABMB sponsors, financially and technically, the long-established Gold Coast based Mothers’ Milk Bank Charity (MMBC). Sponsoring the Charity enables MMBC to implement educational health programs for disadvantaged mothers, parents and carers as well as providing ‘Bridging Milk©’ for emergency situations within Australia.

      If you have questions or suggestions relating to ABMB’s ethics and practices, please contact:

      Kevin Condon  |  Director 
      e: kcondon@australianbreastmilkbank.com
      m: +61 477 023 223