It is widely agreed that the best source of nutrition for the newborn is the milk of their own mothers. In those cases where it is not available, especially in very premature and/or very low birth weight infants, as well as other sick newborns, the preferred choice before formula is the human milk provided by selected donors. This indication is supported by the highest international bodies dedicated to the health of the child population, including the World Health Organisation as well as the main national and international scientific societies in the field of Paediatrics. Milk banks are health institutions responsible for the collection, processing and distribution of donated human milk. Currently, there are 14 human milk banks operating in Spain, grouped in the Spanish Association of Human Milk Banks, created in September 2008. In order to homogenise the criteria and to unify the working methods of the different milk banks, the Spanish Association of Human Milk Banks has developed standards to harmonise the protocols, and to serve as a guide for the start-up of new milk banks in the Spanish territory. These standards, set out in the present article, range from the donor selection and the evaluation process to the collection, processing, storage, and distribution of donor human milk.
Calvo, J., García Lara, N. R., Gormaz, M., Peña, M., Martínez Lorenzo, M. J., Ortiz Murillo, P., … Gayà, A. (2018). Recommendations for the creation and operation of maternal milk banks in Spain. Anales de Pediatria, 89(1), 65.e1-65.e6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anpedi.2018.01.010