National milk bank association: Frauenmilchbank-Initiative e.V. www.fmbi.de
National guidelines: These are currently being developed by the German Society for Neonatology and Pediatric Intensive Care Medicine (GNPI).
- Corinna Gebauer - email@example.com
The FMBI is a non-profit association founded in 2018 that counts among its members representatives of most of the milk banks in Germany. FMBI was founded by directors and staff of donor milk banks, neonatologists, paediatricians, nurses, lactation experts and academics from all over Germany. FMBI aims to raise public awareness about the advantages of mother’s and donor milk, enhance academic discourse and sharing of expertise, and to work hand-in-hand with interested hospitals. By advocating on these issues with politicians, authorities and health insurance companies, FMBI seeks to overcome the financial and administrative hurdles that currently prevent many hospitals in Germany from setting up donor milk banks.
The first milk bank in Germany was opened in 1919 in Magdeburg.
Today, German donor milk banks are distributed unequally with large areas remaining without any milk bank. There are about 200 perinatal centres in Germany and only a fraction of them are able to feed premature infants with donor milk in cases where mothers own milk is lacking.
In some hospitals all donor milk is used raw, some hospitals use only pasteurised milk and in others milk is used in both raw and pasteurised form. The donors are screened. Milk is tested for bacteriological content before pasteurisation. Some milk banks provide pasteurised milk to other NICUs that do not run a milk bank of their own. Health insurance companies do not cover the costs of processing donor milk and hospitals usually have to shoulder the expenses.