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Monday, 2 March  2009  Milk Bank

Australia's first 'milk bank' is about to open. Run by a hospital in Perth, the bank will supply newborn babies with breast milk.


EMILY JONES: It's got milk on it, my milk on it, and he's sucking on it he can taste it and all that.

DIANNE BAIN: At just six weeks, baby Elijah's discovering the sweet taste of his mother's milk.

He only drinks a few milliliters each day. But so far that milk has helped him gain almost half a kilo. He's a far cry from the fragile 905-gram baby that was born on Christmas day.

EMILY JONES: I was surprised that he survived. I was preparing myself for the worst but he came through.

DIANNE BAIN: But baby Elijah's still got a long way to go and doctors believe his best hope is his mother's milk.

PROF KAREN SIMMER (KING EDWARD MEMORIAL HOSPITAL): We know that we can get them, wean them off intravenous feeding onto milk feeding more quickly than if they're fed formula and can get them home earlier. This is a cost saving as well as good for the families to have their babies home earlier.

DIANNE BAIN: She says research shows the long term mental and physical health of a baby is greatly enhanced when babies are fed breast milk.

PROF KAREN SIMMER: We believe and the evidence would suggest that this is absolutely true that if we could feed them human milk rather than formula they would have a better outcome.

DIANNE BAIN: With this in mind doctors set out to create what will be Australia's first human milk bank. Interestingly there's no state government support for the bank.

PROF PETER HARTMANN (UWA): We've looked at the needs and decided that a lot of the validation that's required to get a good milk bank hasn't been done and we've spent a lot of time and energy now just validating every step that we're doing so we know the quality of product that we're going to give to these babies

DIANNE BAIN: His team of researchers at UWA, together with professor Karen Simmer, has created specialised equipment to help sterilise the milk.

PROF PETER HARTMANN: Because these babies are so immature normal breast milk doesn't have sufficient composition. We have to know the composition of the milk and add more energy and protein to the milk to get growth rates in these babies that is desirable.

DIANNE BAIN: That process hasn't been perfected yet so for now doctors will focus on pasteurising and supplying the milk exclusively to premature babies. And while donor milk isn't hard to come by, the hospital's biggest task will be encouraging mothers to use it.

PROF KAREN SIMMER: We screen the donors first as we would someone who was giving blood then we screen the milk for bacterial contamination and then we pasteurise the milk and check the milk again so we're absolutely sure that there's no risk of viral or bacterial contamination or transmission to the baby

DIANNE BAIN: For young mother Emily Jones she's only too aware of the nutritional benefits of breast milk. Perhaps the biggest challenge for her will be getting over the psychological barrier of feeding baby Elijah another woman's milk.



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English Bites - Milk Bank
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far cry from
very different from something

Example: This new car is a far cry from my old bicycle.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

the worst
Notice that the superlative adjective for bad is not the baddest, but the worst. Follow the link belkow to find out more about superlative adjectives.
more information: superlative adjectives

came through
survived a difficult experience

Example: He came through the divorce a stronger man.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb come through, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: come through

mother's
Notice the use of the possessive apostrophe. For more, follow the link below.
more information: possessive apostrophe

fed
Here fed is the past participle of the irregular verb feed. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: feed

earlier
Earlier is the comparative form of early. Follow the link below to find out more.
more information: comparative adjectives

enhanced
If something is enhanced, itís increased or made better.

evidence
Evidence is proof. Itís anything that helps us come to a judgement about something. Here, the evidence would come from scientific testing.

formula
Here, formula refers to the artificial milk for babies that contains many of the nutrients in human milk.

outcome
result

in mind
To have something in mind means to be thinking about it or be aware of it.

Example: I kept the cost of heating in mind when planning the house.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

set out
To set out is to start something with a particular aim.

Example: Sheís set out to establish a new business.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb set out, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: set out

done
Done is the past participle of the irregular verb do. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: do

spent
Here spent is the past participle of the irregular verb spend. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: spend

premature
A premature baby is born before the normal time - so it hasnít had time to grow and develop fully.

Example: The baby in the story is premature.
The adverb is prematurely.

Example: He was born prematurely.

come by
obtain; get

Example: Good jobs are hard to come by.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb come by, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: come by

screen
test

pasteurise
They also pasteurise the milk - that means they heat it up for long enough that they know all the bacteria have been killed.

too
When too means 'more than' it's spelled too and not to. Follow the link below to our language library for more information.
more information: to too

nutritional
Nutritional means relating to or providing nutrition. The noun nutrition refers to food or substances you take into your body to keep you alive and healthy.

getting over
overcoming; finding a way of dealing with something

Example: We have to find a way of getting over this problem.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb get over, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: get over

psychological barrier
Psychological means related to the human mind and feelings. And here a barrier is something that stops you. Psychological barriers are thoughts and feelings that stop you from doing something.
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What does 'the milk of human kindness' mean?

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