The Milk Handling Room supports the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for all infant feeding needs and works closely with BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank to access donor milk needed for NICU babies.
The first two years of a child’s life are critical for development, and optimal nutrition during this time lowers morbidity and mortality, reduces the risk of chronic disease and fosters better development overall. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, as a mother’s milk provides optimal nutrition. Human milk contains many nutrients and antibodies, the benefits of breastfeeding are well documented in research and have benefits not only for the baby but for mothers as well.
Human milk is shown to decrease the likelihood of life-threatening diseases and infections common among critically ill infants in NICUs, which is why BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank provides donor human milk to the sickest babies in BC’s NICUs.
The new room will work in collaboration with BC Children’s Formula Room (where specialized formulas are prepared for in-patient units at BC Women’s and BC Children’s) to ensure patients receive optimal nutrition. We will also be implementing a new Milk Safety System to provide the most nutritional value, in which precise calculation of nutrition orders for specific patient feeds are prepared within a customized aseptic preparation space.
The centralized space in close proximity to the new NICU will ensure all our patients receive the nourishment they require for healthy development.