Donor milk bank opened
Women’s Centre recently inaugurated a human milk bank. A release from the organisation, quoting S. Ramakrishnan, Chief Neonatologist, says that the milk bank will benefit preterm and very low birth weight babies whose mother’s milk production has not either not started on time or there was an interrupted supply of milk halfway through the baby’s stay in neonatal unit. Feeding such babies with human milk – either mother’s own or donor bank milk – is a natural way of reducing the risk of serious, life-threatening infections. The move will also ensure early discharge of infants and reduced expenditure for the parents.
Though donor milk banks exist in the West, there are no formal, organised human milk banks in South India.
The release adds that the bank service includes collecting, screening, processing, storing and prescribing donated human milk by lactating donor mothers to babies. Only those babies that are premature and weigh less than 1,500 gm (very low birth weight babies) and less than 1,000 gm (extremely low birth weight babies) and sick babies where the mother is unable to produce sufficient milk at any stage during the course of the neonatal stay.
There was no risk in donor milk as they undergo triple screen.
The bank follows the guidelines set by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE, UK) in 2010 and Human Milk Banking Association of North America.