A human milk bank is a centre to collect, screen, test, and store donor milk collected from healthy lactating mothers. In India, these centres are called Comprehensive Lactation Management Centres (CLMCs).
India has 57 CLMCs across different states. To know more about CLMCs, click here.
The primary function of a CLMC is make sure that every child receives breast milk. A CLMC performs three functions
1. It supports breastfeeding by helping new mothers breastfeed and resolve their lactation issues.
2. It helps mothers to express milk for their own babies and to donate excess milk to the CLMC.
3. It tests, stores, and pasteurizes collected milk and feeds it to vulnerable babies who do not have access to their mothers milk due to unavoidable reasons.
Donor milk is only given to babies on prescription.Most often, babies who are admitted in the NICU due to some complications at birth, such as prematurity, low birth weight, other sickness or infection, baby receives donor milk, only if they are unable to receive their mothers milk.
Otherwise, if the mother is lactating, she expresses her milk, which is fed to the baby.
Every CLMC follows a robust process to ensure that milk is treated and stored as per the Government of India guidelines (National Guidelines for Lactation Management Centers for Public Health Facilities).
Any healthy lactating mother can donate milk to a CLMC. You will be asked to provide a written consent and go through a medical check before you can donate milk.
Click here to donate.
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