Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai has 200 mothers donating breast milk per month . Lack of awareness and misconceptions among lactating mothers is resulting in fewer donors .
MRASHWAI (Madurai): Despite the high demand for breast milk, the human milk bank at Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) is still struggling to find additional donors.Doctors claim that a lack of awareness and misconceptions among lactating mothers is resulting in fewer donors coming forward.According to official statistics, the breast milk bank in GRH, located in the large emergency obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC) block, has around 200 mothers donating breast milk per month, the bulk of whom are hospitalized.A human milk bank is just as important as a blood bank.A human milk bank can also be a boon for orphaned, premature babies, and mothers who are unable to breastfeed their children due to maternal issues.Nevertheless, many times the demand is greater than the supply, according to Dr J Ashok Raja, professor of neonatology at GRH.The bank received 1,649 babies between January and December 2021.Doctors and nurses encourage mothers who are admitted for pregnancy to donate their breast milk. We can only get one litre of breast milk per day, even then.As the demand increases, the milk we gather is consumed quickly.Ashok said that the Covid-19 pandemic has also slowed down production in the past two years.Doctors reassured that the donor mothers are tested for any conditions before being taken, including HIV and Covid-19. Some parents believe that by giving milk, their own child will not get enough.But, in reality, giving more breast milk boosts higher numbers, according to the doctor.