Mother’s own/maternal breast milk
Fresh milk is best, but expressed milk can be kept in the fridge (for use within 2 days) or frozen (for use within 3 months). It is important to properly label and date your expressed milk.
Pasteurised donor milk
Breast milk donated by another mother. This milk is screened, pasteurised and dispensed via the Human Milk Bank in Fermanagh. It is not the same as a mother’s own milk. Donor milk is used when there is not enough of a mother’s own milk and a baby needs to avoid formula milk for a medical reason, for example if they are very preterm. Donor breast milk is only used temporarily until mother’s milk is available or the baby can have formula.
Baby formula is made from cow’s milk that has been modified to make it suitable for babies. Formula milk contains the nutrients babies need, but it does not include many of the other beneficial ingredients found in breast milk. There is a wide variety of formula milks available – including special medical formulas.
There is formula that is made to meet the nutritional requirements of babies who were born preterm. Other special formulas include formula that is suitable for use after surgery on baby’s tummy, formula with no cows milk protein in it, and high energy formulas. Your baby’s dietitian and neonatal team will let you know if your baby needs special medical formula.