In a first of its kind in the Northeast, a human milk bank has come up in Guwahati.
The bank has been set up to stock up breast milk and feed it to new born babies or malnourished children.
This bank has come up at Satribari Christian Hospital.
It is the fifteenth human milk bank in India and has the capacity to store pasteurized human milk for up to six years.
“Breast milk is the best food for newborn babies. To bring down cases of neonatal mortality and mortality below 5 years of age, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, starting within the first hour of birth is recommended,” said Dr Devajit Sarma, paediatric and neonatal care specialist at the Satribari Christian Hospital.
“In India, there are many cases of newborns not getting enough milk in the first few days as the mother could be sick, have some infectious disease or not produce enough milk. Stored breast milk from milk banks becomes the best option for such infants.” he further added.
“The best option for babies in such case is pasteurised donor milk, stored in a milk bank. In the milk bank, we will collect milk from lactating women who are willing to donate. It will then be pasteurised and stored in deep freeze. The milk can be stored from 6 months to 6 years,” said Dr Sarma.