Hyderabad, Nov (IANS) A unique human milk bank has come up in Hyderabad which will cater to preterm babies and other infants in need of milk.
Telangana Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan on Wednesday launched the milk bank at KIMS Cuddles in Kondapur on the eve of World Prematurity Day on November 17.
Several eligible mothers have shown willingness to donate milk voluntarily.
The banks can store milk for up to one year. Whenever the need arises, the milk is withdrawn and used after it is brought to a liquid state.
KIMS Cuddles expects that on an average at least five babies will be requiring human milk from its bank on any given day.
The Governor recalled that as a practicing pediatrician at Thanjavur, she came across several instances from which she understood the inadequate supply of breast milk for new-born babies. That is when she realised the need for having human milk banks, particularly after she saw the yeomen services rendered by such banks while on a visit to a Mumbai hospital.
"KIMS will help save 400 preterm (pre-maturely born) babies and also other infants in urgent need of milk when the mothers cannot breastfeed through their new project. I appreciate all kindhearted mothers, who, with their willingness to donate to the human milk bank, are securing the life of someone else's baby."
She lauded the initiative taken by Dr Bhaskar Rao, Managing Director, KIMS Hospitals.
"The need for a human milk bank has emerged because of the huge gap in the demand and supply of mother's milk. The milk bank is like a godsend opportunity as it addresses this lacuna to a significant extent. The good sign is that when mother's milk is inaccessible, especially for a premature baby, donor human milk emerges as the saviour," observed Dr. Aparna from KIMS Cuddles.
According to Dr. V. Nanda Kishore, Paediatric Intensivist and HOD - Paediatrics, KIMS Hospitals, Secunderabad, mother's milk can reduce mortality and morbidities in such vulnerable neonates. It contains all the vital nutrients and growth factors that a baby needs for optimal physical and mental growth. Human milk is a source of anti-infective factors that are proven to reduce infections and necrotising Enterocolitis, which are the major causes of mortality in preterm neonates, she said.
"KIMS Cuddles has created such a bank to achieve one hundred per cent human milk feeding in preterm very low-weight neonates. As part of our regimen, our trained staff screens the donor mothers, counsel them appropriately, screen them for infections, collect milk, pasteurize, screen and distribute milk to babies in dire need," D. Aparna said.
"Our neonatal unit at KIMS Cuddles caters to nearly 150 newborn babies each month, including intramural and extramural births. Our estimates are that up to 20-25 per cent of these admissions are preterm neonates less than 34 weeks gestation. These are the babies who can only be fed mother's milk," she said.
According to gynecologist Dr. Shilpi Reddy, Clinical Director - Obstetrics & Gynecology, as most of the sick newborns and premature babies do not get MoM in the first week of life, human milk bank is a boon for them.
Three healthy mothers who volunteered to donate on umpteen occasions were felicitated. The average percentage of donations by these three mothers, Madhuri, Roopa and Anusha, is around 15 litres, which is a stupendous contribution.
"There are many mothers who have been approaching us stating that they produce more milk than what their babies require. They are duly counselled and motivated about how their help can save many preterm babies," Dr. Aparna asserts.