Vol 92, No 11 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-05-26

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Knowledge, opinions and attitudes of Polish women towards banking and donation of human breast milk

Julia M. Smyk1, Joanna Pergol1, Zuzanna Danielecka1, Joanna P. Kacperczyk-Bartnik2, Pawel Bartnik2, Agnieszka Dobrowolska-Redo2, Ewa Romejko-Wolniewicz2
Pubmed: 34105754
Ginekol Pol 2021;92(11):784-791.


Objectives: The aim of the study was to obtain information on the knowledge, opinions and attitudes of Polish women in terms of functioning of human milk banks, as well as the possibility to be a donor. Specific objectives included consideration of responses in the sociodemographic aspect and identification of factors influencing donation decisions.
Material and methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted, obtaining 871 responses. Women were asked to provide basic sociodemographic data, information related to pregnancy and lactation. Knowledge and opinion about breast milk banks as well as the impact of various factors on a potential donation decision were investigated.
Results: Of all women participating in the study, 604 (69%) were aware of the breast milk banks existence. 69% of respondents indicated the Internet, 10% — a nurse or midwife, while only 4% — a doctor as source of knowledge about human breast milk donation. Among women who had children (n = 453), only 9 (2%) donated breast milk in the past. The indicated reasons for not donating were no milk excess (38%), insufficient knowledge about the procedure or unawareness of its existence (33% and 25%, respectively), long distance to affiliated facility (17%).
Conclusions: The awareness of breast milk banks existence, possibilities and terms of donation in the studied group is not satisfactory. Widely sharing reliable information on banking and promoting the idea of donating human breast milk in society can lead to impressive results. There is a need for further development of human breast milk banks and continuous improvement of their availability in Poland.

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