Chennai has the distinction of being the medical capital of India.
Several people from around the country as well as from Middle Eastern countries flock to Chennai hospitals for the treatment of major illnesses.
Chennai also has the distinction of being a national leader in the research of HIV/AIDS.
A new phenomenon to take the medical field by storm in the country grew its roots in Chennai: the concept of the human milk bank.
What is it?
It is quite similar to a blood bank, really.
A human milk bank is where new mothers can pump and donate their breast milk, which is then stored in a hygienic environment till it is used.
The donor also needs to undergo multiple tests before donation in order to ensure that she is healthy, and her breast milk will not cause any problems to the receiver.
Chennai’s Institute of Child Health (ICH) and Vijaya Hospital are equipped with milk banks.
How does it help?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not always possible for every woman to produce breast milk smoothly immediately after giving birth.
However, breast milk is essential for newborns, and a milk bank will be useful to tide the baby over till the mother can produce milk herself.
In some unfortunate cases if the mother passes away in childbirth or early in her child’s life, the services of a milk bank will be very useful for the child’s initial development.
Sometimes, an HIV+ mother can give birth to a healthy child. It is not advisable for a healthy child to drink the milk of an HIV+ mother, so milk from a milk bank could be used instead.
Milk banks also come to the aid of preterm and premature babies.
These are just a few of the situations in which a milk bank would be necessary, and its services could save lives.
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How to donate?
The first step would be to contact a hospital known to have human milk banks.
Follow all the procedures and screening processes to ensure that you are eligible to donate milk.
Finally, milk can be pumped directly from the donor and added to the milk bank in a safe and sterile environment. Prior to storage, it is pasteurised to ensure added cleanliness and hygiene.
In addition to creating a new life, mothers also have the ability to save them. Kudos to the brains behind this initiative, and here’s to improving healthcare for newborns!
Image Credits : Google Images
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