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J Hum Lact. 2013 Aug;29(3):323-7. doi: 10.1177/0890334413492910. Epub 2013 Jun 17.

Mother's milk technicians: a new standard of care.

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Lactation Support Program, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


When an infant is medically compromised or requires surgery shortly after birth, traditional breastfeeding is interrupted. In the United States, mothers of these medically complex infants often spend many hours using a breast pump to express their breast milk and store it for their baby to receive via a feeding tube or bottle until breastfeeding can be introduced. Often, additional calories, minerals, or modifications are made to mother's milk to meet the infant's needs. Many acute care pediatric facilities and neonatal intensive care units lack appropriate physical space for the preparation of fortified breast milk feedings, and the preparation of these feedings by nursing staff requires a significant investment of time. At Boston Children's Hospital, the innovative role of a mother's milk technician was created to provide preparation of breast milk utilizing standardized measurement of fortifiers by weight, prepared using an aseptic technique with standard operating procedures. The creative use of a "mobile" milk cart was implemented due to limited space allocated for formula lab and nutrition rooms. The development of this essential role has ensured optimal quality control of the storage and preparation of expressed human milk. Nursing compliance with breast milk identification procedures increases when time required for feeding preparation is minimized, preventing breast milk administration errors and reallocating valuable nursing time back to the patient.


breast milk; breastfeeding; fortification; milk lab; milk technician

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