Puducherry: Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer) has established a human milk bank to nourish and save preterm babies born in the hospital. The bank, named ‘Amudham Thaippal Maiyam’ (ATM), which will also offer breastfeeding counselling to mothers, was inaugurated last Wednesday.
“As 30% of 1,500 babies born per month in Jipmer are of low birth weight and mostly preterm, there is a strong need to establish a human breast milk bank at NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) to strengthen neonatal services and save preterm babies,” Jipmer director S C Parija said on Monday.
He said such banks must be set up in all NICU facilities considering the complications associated with formula feeding of underweight and tiny preterm babies who cannot be breastfed till they are six months old. “If mother’s milk is unavailable or insufficient, the next option is to use pasteurized donor human milk,” he said.