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Whāngai Ora Milk Bank

Why do we exist?

The World Health Organisation recommends the use of donor human milk as the feeding of choice, if mother’s own milk is insufficient or unavailable. Whāngai Ora Milk Bank was established to collect and distribute safe donor milk for such occasions.   The milk is screened, pasteurised and tested to make it the safest option of all the supplements alternative to a mother's own milk for the pēpi of the communities, or those who had or are receiving care, within the MidCentral DHB's district.

The meaning behind our name:

Whāngai means to give/provide something of nourishment. It is used to describe how we breastfeed to nourish the baby (not just to nourish physically but also spiritually).

Whāngai  is also used to describe the practice of gifting chosen tamariki to whānau members to be nourished. This links with the idea of donor breast milk - mothers are choosing to donate their milk to help nourish other babies, and mothers are choosing to use

donor milk to nourish their babies.

The addition of ‘ora’ to the word 'whāngai' emphasises that breast milk is a life giving natural substance, in a similar category as water in Te Ao Māori.

We are located in Te Papaiōea Birthing Centre where we screen, test and pasteurise breast milk received from tested donors. We distribute to recipients in our community, in accordance with our triage policy, ensuring those who are in the most need are served first. We adhere to internationally recognised best practice for the storage, handling and processing of human breast milk. 

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