J Korean Med Sci.  2016 Nov;31(11):1775-1783. 10.3346/jkms.2016.31.11.1775.

The Experience of Human Milk Banking for 8 Years: Korean Perspective

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. pedc@khnmc.or.kr
  • 2Human Breast Milk Bank, Mother & Infant Care Center, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Korea.


Human milk banks are a solution for mothers who cannot supply their own breast milk to their sick or hospitalized infants; premature infants, in particular, are unable to receive a full volume of breast milk for numerous reasons. As of December 2015, there was only one milk bank in a university hospital in Korea. We reviewed the basic characteristics of donors and recipients, and the amounts and contamination of breast milk donated at the Human Milk Bank in Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong in Korea from 2008 to 2015. The donor pool consisted of 463 first-time donors and 452 repeat donors who made 1,724 donations. A total of 10,820 L of breast milk was collected, and 9,541.6 L were processed. Detectable bacteria grew in 12.6% after pasteurization and 52.5% had cytomegalovirus DNA before pasteurization in donated milk. There were 836 infant and 25 adult recipients; among new infant recipients, 48.5% were preterm; the groups received 8,009 and 165.7 L of donor milk, respectively. There was an increase in the percentage of preterm infants among new infant recipients in 2015 (93.1%) compared to 2008 (8.5%). Based on the number of premature infants in Korea, the number of potential recipients is not likely to diminish anytime soon, despite efforts to improve the breastfeeding rate. Sustainability and quality improvement of the milk bank need long-term financial support by health authorities and a nationwide network similar to blood banking will further contribute to the progress of milk banking.


Milk, Human; Milk Banks; Infant, Premature; Korea
Full Text Links
  • JKMS
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2021 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr