From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Comprehensive Lactation Management Centres
Mains level : Breastfeeding and its significance
Breast Milk Banks in India are known as Comprehensive Lactation Management Centres (CLMC) and Lactation Management Unit (LMU) depending on the level of health facilities where these units are established.
Comprehensive Lactation Management Centres (CLMC)
- CLMC works as per the National Guidelines on Establishment of Lactation Management Centres in Public Health Facilities.
- The foremost endeavour of the health care providers in a health centre is to conserve the natural act of breastfeeding.
- Lactation Management Centres are in no way intended to lessen the importance of mother’s own milk or the practice of breastfeeding.
- If mother’s own milk is insufficient or not available for any unavoidable reason, Donor Human Milk (DHM) is the next best alternative to bridge the gap.
- The Government has set a target of ensuring 70 per cent infants to have access to breast milk by the year 2025. Target will subsequently be increased to 100 per cent.
Why need such banks?
- It is universally accepted that breast milk is the optimum exclusive source of nutrition for the first six months of life, and may remain part of the healthy infant diet for the first two years of life and beyond.
- Despite advances in infant formulas, human breast milk provides a bioactive matrix of benefits that cannot be replicated by any other source of nutrition.
- When the mother’s own milk is unavailable for the sick, hospitalized newborn, pasteurized human donor breast milk should be made available as an alternative feeding choice followed by commercial formula.
- There is a limited supply of donor breast milk in India and it should be prioritized to sick, hospitalized neonates who are the most vulnerable and most likely to benefit from exclusive human milk feeding.
- Asia’s first milk bank was established in 1989 at Sion Hospital, Mumbai.
- In 2017, the first public milk bank, called the Vatsalya — Maatri Amrit Kosh, was established at Lady Hardinge Medical College.
- It was established in collaboration with the Norwegian government and the Oslo University as part of the Norway–India Partnership Initiative (NIPI).