This study’s main objectives are to know how the social support network has been structured for the human milk donation and comprehend how the information delivered to potentials donors are perceived by them. The social support is understood as a group of different actors, including persons and institutions. Mapping the social network of human milk donation is a strategic procedure that represents great importance for social actors involved in the milk donation process: relatives participating in the family’s dynamics, as well as external systems, which have important influence on interactions and behavior of the donation. These interactions represent a secure and active instrument to ensure that is possible to make visible and valuable social links and relational and material resources to support the donation. This research may provide elements to understand the donation’s behavior and sustain educational campaigns related to human milk donation, contributing to strengthen the donor’s social network and plan strategic actions.

Descriptors: Milk, Human; Gift Giving; Health Public Policy.






When it relates to the promotion and encouragement of breastfeeding, the Brazilian Human Milk Banks (HMBs) have become strategically, in recent years, important elements of this state policy. Since the first unit implemented in the country in 1943, the system went through a series of ideological changes in institutional practice1,2,3. Even before the recognition of the importance of HMBs for the maintenance of lives of many receptors in the Federal District (FD) the stocks of human milk are lower than expected.




How do you characterize the interactions of the donors with people and institutions in their social life? How can a social network of support to the donation, starting from the apprehended meaning by the donor of human milk be described?




Overall: To analyze the perception of the donors of HMBs concerning the network of social support for the donation of human milk in the FD. Specific: 1) To characterize the socio-demographic profile of donors of human milk registered in HMBs of the public and private health network in the FD; 2) Mapping the social network of women donors of human milk; 3) Understanding the meaning of the relationship between the donors with their social network; 4) Analyze the significance of the social network for the practice of donating, 5) Identify information gathered by the survey participants that can be used to sensitize other women to donate during the prenatal and postpartum care.




The lack of any social support network to the donor of human milk carefully defined determines the existence of low inventories of donated human milk for the human milk banks in the Federal District.




It is the study of a quantitative and qualitative methodology, a cross-sectional study. Strategy of data collection: interview based on questionnaires with closed questions and the presentation of geometric representation of network types and graphical representation of the types of links in the social network of each of the participants aiming at mapping the social network of each one of them. Target Audience: donors registered in the 15 HMBs members of the public and private healthcare network in the Federal District. Stages of data collection: STEP I: pilot study, assessment of adequacy of data collection instruments designed for the research and data collection procedure proposed, with IC signature. STEP II: application of structured data collection instruments validated with the signature of the IC.



1. Griboski RA, Guilhem DB, Branco JDC. Adolescent, Sexuality and Situations of Vulnerability. A Qualitative Study. Online Brazilian Journal Nursing [online] 2007; [Capturado em 21 Jul. 2011]; v. Esp. Disponível em:

2. Alencar LCE de, Seidl EMF. Doação de leite humano: experiência de mulheres doadoras. Rev Saúde Pública 2009 fev; 43(1):70-7.

3. Alencar LCE de, Seidl EMF. Doação de leite humano e apoio social: relato de mulheres doadoras. Rev Latino-Am Enfermagem 2010 mai-jun; 18(3):381-9.



Project data: PhD Project. Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences. College of Health Sciences at the University of Brasilia. Approved in the qualifying exam on 16/11/2009 by the board composed by: Dr. Dirce Bellezi Guilhem (advisor), Dr. Wilma Maria Coelho Araújo (1st member), Dr. Ivone Kamada (2nd member) and Dr. Elioenai Dornelles Alves (substitute member). Approved in the CEP of the Foundation for Research and Education Health Sciences of the State Secretariat of Health of the Federal District, Protocol256/2011, CAAE: 02370013000-11. Mailing Address: Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, Caixa Postal 4554, Asa Norte, Brasília-DF, CEP: 70910-900. E.mail: and


Research financial support: Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa do Distrito Federal.

Research Team: Coordenation: Prof. Dr Dirce Guilhem (advisor), Researchers: Prof. Dr. João Aprígio Guerra de Almeida (co-advisor), Prof. Dr. Leides Barroso Azevedo Moura, Ms Lucienne Christine Estevez de Alencar, Prof. Dr. Rita de Cássia Coelho de Almeida Akutsu and Prof. Dr. Wilma Maria Coelho Araújo.