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First public sector Breast Milk Bank inaugurated at Kolkata, West Bengal


A modern and sophisticated breast milk bank was inaugurated on 7 August 2013 at the state-run Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital (SSKM) by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

This novel scheme was launched to cater to the basic needs of a child who is just born, but does not get the milk from the mother or when the mother dies after giving birth to the child.

About Breast Milk Bank:
• The breast milk bank would help specially to non-lactating mothers. The stored milk can be used to feed babies whose mothers fall ill during the six-month lactating period after pregnancy.
• Breast milk donor mothers are women whose premature infants are admitted to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), pregnant women who deliver their babies at SSKM and even expectant mothers who do not deliver their babies at the hospital but are admitted to the outpatient department.
• The milk bank will also be an option for those mothers who have adopted children, possess insufficient milk glands and have an history of past breast surgery or cancer. The bank was being funded by the National Health Renewal Mission.

This is the country's second breast milk bank, the first being established in Mumbai on 27 November 1989.

The concept of such milk banks is quite popular in the UK, United States of America and Sweden. Such facilities also come to the rescue of abandoned babies and those born premature.

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