As midwives we have the power to save a newborns’ microbiome!
As a midwife, co founder and CEO of the Australian Breast Milk Bank (ABMB) I am immensely proud to be part of team of hard working scientists, food technologists and entrepreneurs dedicated to changing the way breast milk banks provide equity of access of breast milk to all babies especially in the first 1to 5 days after birth. This is a significant milestone that positively enhances woman centred care.
Sounds over the top?
Not at all!
How can you make sure the women you care for never miss out?
Now that you are aware of ‘Bridging Milk©’ and have looked at our website you can spread the word!
Thanks to the tireless efforts of ABMB’s team, we have developed a method of freeze drying donor breast milk into a powder Bridging Milk© that requires no cold chain storage and is packaged for use (if needed) after birth.
So a baby never needs formula if the mother after birth has low or no milk supply and the baby’s microbiome is saved!!
There are 2 very significant ways midwives can save a newborns’ microbiome:
- Encourage women you care for to access our product Bridging Milk© before the birth so their baby never needs formula
- Ask your clients to donate any extra breast milk they might produce to ABMB so we can always supply any mother, parent or carer needing breast milk instead of formula especially in the early postnatal period.
Essentially and specifically with your help, ABMB can ensure no formula is given to a newborn in the critical first days after birth. You are the first contact a mother has to help her protect her baby’s microbiome!
“Human Breast Milk is not only a perfectly adapted nutritional supply for the infant, but probably the most specific personalized medicine that he or she is likely to be receive, given at a time when gene expression is being fine tuned for life”.
As part of this process, we support a mother to breastfeed her baby actively and effectively or to express her colostrum. Our aim is to meet the criteria required for adequate weight gain or blood sugar levels so a baby’s’ microbiome is not altered and adversely affected by formula.
The challenge comes when in-spite of our best efforts with all of the above many babies for all the reasons we know, still require extra fluid. As you know many mothers are extremely disappointed and distressed when a formula is the only available option.
Until now it’s been generally understood that only very premature and low birth weight babies are given preference (and rightly so) to donor milk from the milk banks. This means term babies in the postnatal and special care units miss out.
At ABMB, we are changing that, enlisting more donors than ever before with free milk pick up services and modern non-thermal pasteurisation so our extended shelf-live powered 100% pure human ‘Bridging Milk©’ can reach mothers and babies in need wherever they are in Australia.
1 Victoria et al The Breastfeeding Series (2016) as seen in Meghan Azards presentation: Milk and Microbes: How Breastfeeding and Human Milk Shape the Infant Microbiome and Influence Child Health. February 2020: Turning the Tide, Warrnambool, Australia
At the antenatal visits:
Encourage every woman you see who you anticipate might have issues breastfeeding initially because of anatomical anomalies, to take some ‘Bridging Milk©’ with them into hospital*
Encourage your clients with diabetic related issues to take some ‘Bridging Milk©’ into hospital just in case they can’t express enough colostrum antenatally or provide enough initially after birth*
Encourage every pregnant woman you care for who you recognise as highly anxious about her potential supply and ability to breastfeed, to take some ‘Bridging Milk©’ to hospital just in case there are issues*
Become part of the team to collect milk and distribute Bridging Milk®
*If unopened, a mother can return ‘Bridging Milk©’ for a full refund though it does store well and can always be used later prn.