Public mother’s milk bank

A public mothers’ milk bank now operational in Québec

Since May 20th, infants born extremely preterm in Québec now have access to donated breast milk via Héma-Québec’s Public Mothers’ Milk Bank. Héma-Québec is able to supply donated milk to hospitals that provide neonatal care to premature babies born at 32 weeks’ gestation or earlier who cannot be nursed by their mother. This will help save the lives of many newborns by reducing the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis.

In May 2013, the Québec National Assembly adopted Bill 29 to amend the Act Respecting Héma-Québec and the Haemovigilance Committee, thereby giving the green light to create a public mothers’ milk bank.

An initial investment of $500,000, funded in part by the Héma-Québec Foundation, was needed to integrate the Public Mothers’ Milk Bank into Héma-Québec’s operations. Héma-Québec’s Public Mothers’ Milk Bank is the fourth facility of its kind in Canada. Three other breast milk banks are currently operating in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.