Journal of Food Technology and Preservation

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Breast milk donation in the Muslim population: Why it is possible?

Joint Event on 2nd International Conference on Food Safety and Hygiene & 7th International Conference on Nutrition, Food Science and Technology
March 07-09, 2019 | London, UK

Virginie Rigourd

Human Milk Bank, France

Scientific Tracks Abstracts : J Food Technol Pres

DOI: 10.4066/2591-796X-C1-005


Introduction: Some mothers have negative ideas about human milk donation, especially in the muslim population because of the « milk brother-sister » concept, whereas they are often in need of human milk.

Main issue: Mrs. Y delivered at a VLBW infant of 500g after 26 weeks of amenorrhea. She was able to collect 200mL of milk per day at day 4, 500ml/day at day 7, and then up to 1.5L/ day. At the end of her hospitalization, the milk bank asked her if she was willing to donate her milk. Mrs. Y at first refused to offer her milk for donation because of the « milk brothersister » concept. After discussion, our team managed to convict Mrs. Y to donate the179 Liters of milk not used by her baby.

Management: We addressed the two questions, as a muslim: -am I allowed to donate my own milk? -can my infant receive donated milk? We i) performed a literature review of all the points of view of the religion concerning human milk donation, ii) sought the expertise of religious figures, iii) we examined biological and genetically data.

Conclusion: These various aspects: religious, cultural, biological, and epigenetic all support the possibility of muslim mothers to donate their own milk to milk banks and their children to receive donated milk. Milk banks should be created in muslim countries to promote the health of pre-term infants.


Virginie Rigourd is the managing director of the Human Milk Bank of Ile de France. She has graduated from the Medicine University in Paris, France in 1998 and finished post graduate training in 2003 from the same university on intra uterin growth retardation topics. She worked as paediatrician ahead of Ile de France Milk Bank, Paris, France and neonatalogiste in NICU at Necker Hospital, Paris, France. Member of the French Milk Bank Association and European Milk Bank Association. Since 2002 she worked as a national consultant, providing assessments of human milk security and on projects on human milk quality. Dr. Rigourd has carried out few researches on medication and breast feeding. During her work she has gained local and national recognition for her different advice on breast feeding and on practice around human milk in NICIU. 

E-mail: [email protected]

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