CHENNAI: Kanchi Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital (KKCTH) will be coming up with a new Breast Milk Bank by the end of 2014. This will be the third of its kind in the State. The announcement was made on the sidelines of the World Breastfeeding Week Celebration at KKCTH recently.
Dr Shobhana Rajendran, neonatologist, KKCTH, said, “We have got freezer, but installing agitator will take about four months. The bank will be fully established by the end of this year.”
Milk banks collect milk from mothers who are able to express more milk with the help of a breast pump. It is later transferred to a sterilised and labeled container, and stored in a freezer for 24 hours under -20 degrees celsius. The milk collected from each mother is then processed and pasteurised separately to destroy any bacteria that it contains. Once the milk is treated, it is given to babies who need it.
“Malnourished and preterm babies need to be fed with more breast milk, also the mothers who are too stressed or aren’t able to express enough milk need the support of milk banks. Right now, we only pasteurise donor’s milk and give it to infants after seeking permission from its mother, else we simply discard it. Soon we will be storing and supplying to more number of people,” said Dr Shobhana.
“It is very important to encourage and educate women about the importance of breastfeeding. Every mother must follow it,” said actor Ramya Krishnan, who was the chief guest at the function. Meanwhile Jayshree Jayakrishnan, lactation consultant from Fortis Hospital said, “We need more milk donors, lactation consultants and breast milk banks in the State. With limited resource, it gets challenging to help the needy.” Kolkata, Gujarat, Pune and Udaipur have established breast milk banks in the past.
In Tamil Nadu, KKCTH will be the third hospital to get the breast milk bank, after the Institute of Child Health and Hospital (ICH) and Vijaya Hospital. ICH, Egmore, was the first to start the breast milk bank. They collect around 1,000 ml of milk from six to eight mothers a day.
Did you know?
Breast milk is an undervalued food resource 2 million infants die in Tamil Nadu every year due to malnutrition
Breast milk makes the infant immune, healthy and protects it from Diarrhea (the most common factor for infant deaths)
Breast milk fed children have more IQ when compared to those fed by formula
It is an ideal food for babies, breast milk 400 nutrients in it
Breast milk also provides maternal care, by combating uterus cancer and helps release Oxytocin
Tamil Nadu stands third in the country as the initiator of immediate breast feeding and stands 20th for continuing breastfeeding for 6 months
The World Breastfeeding Week was started in the year 1992 by the World Alliance for Breast Feeding Action (WABA)
The week is observed in 120 countries by UNICEF and WHO