The history of the Mothers' Milk Bank

The Mothers' Milk Bank was born out of the need of one little boy, Ty. His mum's milk supply was too low, and after struggling for weeks, and trying a variety of formulas, Ty's health continued to decline.

Ty's mother, Danielle, had breastfed her first two children without any problems. Danielle then developed polycystic ovary disease, which impacted on her production of milk. Danielle continued to breastfeed Ty, express frequently and was taking medication to help increase her own milk supply. Ty's weight loss continued and a supplement of artificial formula was commenced. Ty reacted to the formula by developing a rash, swelling of the mouth and symptoms of distress after feeds.

After struggling for weeks with trying every formula on the market, as well as importing formula from the USA, Ty's health continued to decline. Ty's paediatrician believed human milk from another mother was the only option to save Ty.

Danielle contacted her lactation consultant, Jenny Jones, to see if there was a way to access donor mother's milk for Ty, and Jenny then phoned me and asked how we would be able to help. I had been conducting research on the well established overseas milk banks and the international best practice guidelines. A team of volunteer health professionals, ABA members, breastfeeding mothers and the business community then joined together, and the Mothers' Milk Bank was born.
Ty began receiving pasteurised donor mothers milk and the improvement was dramatic: Ty started gaining weight, and delayed developmental milestones resulting from inadequate nutrition began to improve. Ty is now a happy, healthy, thriving boy who is reaching his developmental milestones.

The Mothers' Milk Bank has gone on to provide hundres and hundreds of litres of pasteurised donor milk to sick preterm infants, and it is a joy to see the transformation from a baby struggling on artificial milk to a happy contented healthy baby receiving real human milk. 

Milk from another mother was the only option to save Ty.

There is a beauty in our culture of helping others in need, and the Mothers' Milk Bank team see this beauty in the multitude of nursing mothers who wish to donate their milk to the milk bank and the families who have provided the financial support. The income received from families across Australia has kept the milk bank operating, by providing the donor packs and bottles to store the donor milk. The Mothers' Milk Bank team is grateful to all the families across Australia for their support of human milk for human babies.

This article was supplied by Mothers' Milk Bank. Learn more on their website.