What is in news?
Human milk bank gaining importance.
What is human milk bank?
A human milk bank or breast milk bank is a service which collects, screens, processes, and dispenses by prescription human milk donated by nursing mothers who are not biologically related to the recipient infant.
There are 47 human milk banks in India with Rajasthan (13), Maharashtra (12) and Tamil Nadu (10) being the leading players.
In 1989, the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital at Sion in Mumbai, set up the first human milk bank in Asia. Its success prompted several hospitals to follow suit.
In Pune, the first such bank was set up in 2011 at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital. Within two years, D Y Patil Medical College and Hospital in Pimpri and the government-run Sassoon General Hospital set up their own banks — more followed.
In the last three-and-a-half years, the human milk bank has collected and dispensed 1,625 litres of human milk.
Criteria For Breastmilk Donors
Who can donate?
A lactating woman who:
• is in good health, good health-related behavior, and not regularly on medications or herbal supplements (with the exception of prenatal vitamins, human insulin, thyroid replacement hormones, nasal sprays, asthma inhalers, topical treatments, eye drops, progestin-only or low dose estrogen birth control products);
• is willing to undergo blood testing for screening of infections; and
• has enough milk after feeding her baby satisfactorily and baby is thriving nicely.
Who cannot donate?
A donor is disqualified who:
• uses illegal drugs, tobacco products or nicotine replacement therapy; or
• regularly takes more than two ounces of alcohol or its equivalent or three caffeinated drinks per day; or
• has a positive blood test result for HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B or C or syphilis; or
• is herself or has a sexual partner suffering from HBV, HIV, HCV and venereal diseases OR either one has high risk behavior for contracting them in last 12 months; or
• has received organ or tissue transplant, any blood transfusion/blood product within the prior 12 months.
• is taking radioactive or other drugs or has chemical environmental exposure or over the counter prescriptions or mega doses of vitamins, which are known to be toxic to the neonate and excreted in breastmilk; or
• has mastitis or fungal infection of the nipple or areola, active herpes simplex or varicella zoster infections in the mammary or thoracic region.