The Concept of Human Milk Donation and Milk Kinship in Islam


  • Siti Mariam Muda LECTURER
  • Nurshazwani Ahmad Nazri Klinik Kesihatan Gambang, Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah Kuantan, Pahang



Keywords: Breastfeeding, Breast Milk, Donor Milk, Human Milk Bank, Muslim


Breastfeeding is the initial and the best feeding to infants after birth. Breast milk has countless benefits to children and mothers in matter of health, education, economy, social, and psychology. The aim of this paper is to generally discuss the point of brief concept of human milk donation and milk kinship in Islam. Despite this, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the duration of 6 months for exclusivity of breastfeeding and continues up to two years old. This is in line with the statement in Quran that mothers should breastfeed their children for two years [al Baqarah 1: 233]. However, not every mother may succeed to breastfeed their children up to two years and the infants are exposed to many risks with the introduction of infant formula milk. With that, WHO and UNICEF had made a joint statement to suggest on human milk banks development to fit infants need in appropriate situations. In Islam, breastfeeding is virtue and milk sharing practice will lead to a new milk kinship called “Rada” or “Milk-Suckling Mahram”. The milk kinship make the infants are forbidden to marriage with the donors and donors relatives. The concept of Islam would make the operation of milk bank complex, but with some precautions it is still likely that also in Muslim communities a human milk sharing initiative can be successfully established.


World Health Organization (2008). Infant and young child nutrition: biennial progress report.Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

UNICEF. (2009). Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative: revised, updated and expanded for integrated care. Geneva: World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund.

Nutrition Division. (2016). National Plan of Action for Nutrition of Malaysia III: 2016-2025. Putrajaya, Malaysia: National Coordinating Committee on Food and Nutrition (NCCFN), Ministry of Health.

Ministry for Health. (2015). National Breastfeeding Policy and Action Plan 2015-2020. Malaysia: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate.

Bode, L. (2015). The functional biology of human milk oligosaccharides. Early Hum. Dev. 91: 619–22. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.09.001. PMID 26375354.

World Health Organization: Exclusive breastfeeding. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2012.

Muda, S.M and Jamil, N.A (2018) Researchers journey in conducting interview on breastfeeding experience among Malay mother. International Journal Of Care Scholars, (2). pp. 34-36.

Muda, S.M., Aung, K.T., Ibrahim, A.F. and Ismail, N.A (2016) Breast feeding issue: A study on factors affecting termination of breast feeding among working mothers. International Journal of Health Sciences and Research, 6 (9). pp. 257-263.

Tengku Alina T.I, Wan Manan W.M, Mohd Isa B. (2016) Factors predicting early discontinuation of exclusive breastfeeding among women in Kelantan, Malaysia. Health Environmental Journal. Vol 4,42-54.

UNICEF. (2015, July 2015). Breastfeeding. Retrieved August 15, 2015, from UNICEF:

Victora, R. Bahl, A Barros, G.V.A Franca, S. Horton, J. Krasevec, S. Murch, M. J. Sankar, N. Walker, and N. C. Rollins. (2016). Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms and lifelong effect.The Lancet, 387 (10017):475-490.

Daud, N., Nordin, N., Shukry, A. S. M., Ali, R. M., & Mohamed, Z. (2014). A study of the understanding amongst academia towards the Islamic concept of breastfeeding. Asian Social Science, 10(19), 230

El-Khuffash, A., & Unger, S. (2012). The concept of milk kinship in Islam: Issues raised when offering preterm infants of Muslim families donor human milk. Journal of Human Lactation, 28(2), 125–127.

Thorley, V. (2016). Milk kinship and implications for human milk banking: A review. Women’s Health Bull, 3(3).

Brent N. (2013). The risks and benefits of human donor breast milk. Pediatric Annals 42, 84–90

Palmquist, A. E. L., & Doehler, K. (2016). Human milk sharing practices in the U.S. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 12(2), 278–290.

Sardoueinasab M. (2013). Child adoption from Iranian law view. Int J Liberal Art Soc Sci. 2013;1:29–38

Ramli, N., Ibrahim, N. R., & Hans, V. R. (2010). Human milk banks - the benefits and issues in an Islamic setting. Eastern Journal of Medicine, 15(4), 163–167.




How to Cite

Muda, S. M., & Ahmad Nazri, N. . (2020). The Concept of Human Milk Donation and Milk Kinship in Islam. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CARE SCHOLARS, 3(1), 41–44.