Union Territory

J-K’s first human milk bank to come up at MCH Jammu’s Gandi Nagar


Pasteurised donor milk may be given to premature babies, also to babies born having difficulty in breastfeeding: HoD Paediatrics SMGS

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Jul 28 : The Jammu and Kashmir’s first human milk bank is coming up at Maternity and Child Care hospital Gandhi Nagar, Jammu and preparations in this regard have been started.

Dr Ghanshyam Singh Saini Head of Department of Paediatrics at SMGS hospital under GMC Jammu while talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that they are planning to establish Jammu and Kashmir’s first human milk bank at MCH Gandhi Nagar and preparations in this regard are going on.

Asked how much time it will take, he said that they can’t give any timeline as of now but they are on job and it will be done.

About need of establishing human milk bank, he said there are some babies who are ill and get admitted in ICUs of hospitals but their mothers sometimes also remain ill so they have decided to establish this unit so that they can collect milk on voluntarily basis and after pasteurizing milk can be given to the baby.

He added that it will benefit all those babies whose mothers are unable to breastfeed their babies due to infection or some other reasons so that we can breastfeed babies exclusively for six months and so that the problems which we witness in babies who are not exclusively breastfeed like Diaheroea, pneumonia can be reduced.

He said that mothers will definitely donate milk and this milk can be used for around six months after pasteurizing it.

Another doctor said that every mother wants her baby to grow strong and healthy and breast milk is the best source of nourishment for infants but unfortunately, some mothers cannot breastfeed their babies owing to reasons such as sickness, medical contraindications, inadequate lactation, surrogacy/IVF and many more and in such conditions human milk bank can come to the rescue of such mothers.

He said that some mothers struggle with low lactation volumes, some others have excess lactation, much more than their babies require. They can express the excess breast milk and donate it to milk banks, where it undergoes quality checks and is then pasteurised and stored in a frozen form and when recommended mothers can then access donor breast milk from these milk banks for their babies and Human milk banks have strict criteria and all donated milk must meet stringent quality checks to ensure that the milk is safe for consumption.

He added that Pasteurised donor milk may be used for premature babies, babies born to mothers who have difficulty breastfeeding/who are on certain medications/ who are suffering from infectious diseases.

The ideal breast milk donor is a mother in good health who can feed her baby satisfactorily and still have excess milk, he said milk from multiple donors is mixed and processed together called pooling and then pasteurised to kills any pathogens that may be present in the donated milk without affecting the nutritive and immune value of the milk.

It is pertinent to mention here that to pasteurise the milk, the donor milk is placed in a water bath heated to 62.5˚C and incubated at this constant temperature for 30 minutes and once pasteurised, a random sample of each batch is tested to ensure zero microbial growth and the pasteurised breast milk is then frozen until required—(KNO)

Kashmir Scroll Webdesk

Kashmir Scroll is an online news project started by the young journalists of Kashmir.

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