1. ITV Report

Barry mother donates breast milk to families across the UK

Credit: ITV News

Wales has 11 neonatal units and is the only UK nation without a milk bank.

This has led some mothers, like Harriet Tutton from Barry, to become breast milk donors.

Ms Tutton donates milk to 20 families across the UK.

The 28-year-old mother produces enough breast milk to fill three freezers. Credit: ITV News

There's such a huge demand for it, I've had people drive five hours to come and get it.

It's a basic human right, isn't it?

It's human milk for a human baby, that's how it should be.

Obviously formula does have its place, but if you can provide milk for your child that is the best thing and the best start in life you can give them.

– Harriet Tutton
Harriet and her two-year-old Luna Credit: ITV News

Some health professionals have warned that unregulated milk donation could put the health of babies at risk.

Public Health Wales fully supports the use of breast milk for babies. Mums should aim to give their baby nothing but breast milk for the first six months, and continue to provide breast milk at least until their baby’s first birthday. If a mother’s own milk is not available, then the next best thing is breast milk donated from another woman.

We commend mums who want to help others by donating breast milk. However, we would always encourage milk donations that take place within the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the safe operation of milk banks. NICE recommends that all donor milk administered in the NHS should be from milk banks that can demonstrate adherence to the NICE guidelines.

Parents who are sharing milk should be aware of the risks. These include the risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses and other infections, the transfer of chemicals, and the risk of bacterial contamination after collection.

– Public Health Wales spokesperson