Human milk bank is all about collecting, screening and distributing human milk donated by women. According to WHO, if mother is unable to breastfeed a baby, the best option is to opt for milk from a human milk bank and not formula milk. Though Human milk banking started informally almost a hundred years ago, the first human milk bank was set up in the United States in mid 1980s. India got its first human milk bank in Mumbai in 1989.
Even then many are not aware of the benefits of human milk bank or about the existence of milk bank. In India lot of social stigma is associated with donating and accepting breast milk. For many it is difficult to accept the thought of feeding their baby with someone else’s milk. This need to change, if we need to save the lives of millions of new born babies. Especially since according to the World Health Organisation, approximately 13 percent (3.5 million) of the 27 million babies born in India annually are preterm and 28 percent (7.6 million) are born with low birth weight.
What is a Human milk bank: