The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is pleased to offer a state-of-the-art human milk management center within the Hospital. The new center helps ensure that infants receive optimal nutrition through human milk during their hospitalization.
The human milk management center is staffed by trained milk technicians 7 days per week. The technicians will work with the Hospital's expert lactation team to develop a plan of care for babies with special needs.
Services of the Human Milk Management Center are currently only available for infants who are hospitalized at CHOP. At this time we can not service outside institutions. We will update this page if expanded services are available in the future. Thank you.
The human milk management center can provide a variety of services to mothers of hospitalized babies.
Human milk management
Milk is stored individually for each patient in a separate bin for each child. If milk is going to be used soon, it can be refrigerated; otherwise milk is stored in deep freezers that are centrally monitored to keep the milk safe.
We collect colostrum (about the first 4 days of pumping) in special colostrum containers and instruct mothers to number the colostrum in the exact order that is pumped. Once the infant starts feeding, we will feed the infant the colostrum in the exact order that is pumped. Once the infant receives colostrum, we always prioritize fresh milk (non-frozen) to maximize the benefits of the milk to the infant.
Some infants — such as those with chylothorax — may require fat free milk. The human milk management center has a cold centrifuge onsite to create skim milk from mom’s own milk. This allows the infant to get the immuno-biological and nutritional benefits of human milk.
Fractionation of human milk
The fat content of human milk is quite variable from mother to mother and during individual pumping sessions. Our center has a centrifuge to evaluate the fat and calorie content of mom’s own milk. We can assist moms in separating their milk to provide the best nutrition to their infant. See separating your milk for more details.
Human milk analysis
The human milk management center also has a human milk analyzer that allows our technicians to evaluate the protein, fat, and carbohydrates of mom’s own milk. This allows us to further tailor milk for infants.
In addition to the variety of ways our new human milk management center can ensure that mom's own milk is providing optimal nutrition to their babies with special needs, we also have donor milk available. Donor milk may be used in cases where a mom's milk supply is still being established or in cases where mom experiences a low milk supply.
Moms who find themselves producing more milk than their child needs — or in the case of infant demise — may want to consider becoming a milk donor themselves. To learn more information about milk donation and the screening process to become a donor, see donor milk.