Supply shortage at Bengaluru's first breast milk bank

Supply shortage at Bengaluru's first breast milk bank

Breast milk stored at the Breast Milk Foundation– Amaara at Fortis La Femme hospital, Bengaluru. DH photo

The demand for breast milk is more than the available supply at the Breast Milk Foundation- Amaara, the city's first ever breast milk bank, at Fortis La Femme hospital. The hospital needs more mothers to donate breast milk for needy preterm babies.

Amaara celebrated their first anniversary on Tuesday and felicitated those donors who have helped 176 pre-term babies across 31 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) in the city. The bank was able to collect 3,07,375 ml milk from 70 donor mothers.

Sharing her experience of donating breast milk, Dr M Soumya, pursuing her MD in neurology, said that donating breast milk is not easy, but with persistence, it not just helps to keep one's child healthy but also helps the needy infants.

“I became a mother last year and I took it as a task to feed only breast milk for my child until he turned one-year-old. Since I began working just three months after my delivery it was difficult. So I started expressing milk every four hours keeping a timer, even when I was working. I used to store it in a cold chain and ensured that only breast milk was fed. I have also donated excess milk to the bank in this process. Many women, despite having excess milk do not donate as they are lazy extracting it and storing it,” she added.

Breast milk is best for nourishing preterm babies, which are surviving now because of various innovative methods said Dr. Sreenath Manikanti, head of Neonatology at the hospital. “Preterm babies never survived earlier, but now because of various measures, the infants do survive and breast milk plays an important role. We want more mothers to come forward and donate breast milk for the needy preterm babies,” he added. 

Interested donors can contact - Amaara Helpline number- 9999287636.