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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-26

Knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of health-care workers about human milk banking in Singapore

1 Department of Paediatrics, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore
2 Department of Neonatology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital; Department of Neonatology, Duke-NUS Medical School, National University of Singapore; Department of Neonatology, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine; Department of Neonatology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore
3 Center for Quantitative Medicine, Duke-NUS Medical School, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Rajadurai Victor Samuel
Department of Neonatology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcn.jcn_99_22

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Background: The use of human milk provides substantial short- and long-term benefits. With the establishment of the first donor human milk bank in Singapore, high-risk preterm and critically ill infants whose mothers have an inadequate milk supply can have access to pasteurized donor human milk. Materials and Methods: A self-administered anonymous questionnaire was conducted among doctors and nurses working in the special care unit and neonatal intensive care unit of KK Women's and Children's Hospital. The questionnaire was divided into three main sections, namely, demographics, knowledge assessment, and opinion. The aims of the survey were to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of health-care workers on breast milk donation and milk bank, and to identify any differing perceptions among different racial and ethnic groups. Results: A total of 38 doctors and 140 nurses from various racial and religious backgrounds participated in this survey. More than 50% of respondents know the benefits of breast milk over formula milk; however, knowledge of the milk donation process and the effect of pasteurization on donated breast milk can be improved on. In the opinion section, 78.7% of survey respondents were supportive of the human milk bank. Sixty-eight (38.2%) respondents felt that recipients should receive milk from donors of the same race and ethnicity, whereas 56 (31.5%) disagreed and 53 (30%) were neutral. Conclusion: Donor human milk banking is well received and supported by health-care workers. Knowledge of milk donation, screening, pasteurization, and storage can be improved on. Further evaluation is required to determine the underlying concerns that different ethnic groups may have.

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