A "Breast Milk Bank" that stores and provides breast milk collected from donors for babies born underweight has been opened at Fujita Health University Hospital in Toyoaki City, Aichi Prefecture.
This is the third breast milk bank to open in Japan and the first outside of Tokyo.
The "Breast Milk Bank" is a facility that provides "donor milk" collected from the donor to babies born with a low weight of less than 1500,1500 grams due to premature birth when the mother cannot breastfeed, based on a request from the hospital.
Babies born weighing less than 3 grams have a higher risk of developing life-threatening diseases that cause partial intestinal death, and breastfeeding has been shown to reduce that risk by about one-third compared to artificial milk.
Last fiscal year, milk was provided to more than 1 babies nationwide from two breast milk banks in Tokyo.
The third breast milk bank in Japan was opened at Fujita Health University Hospital in Toyoaki City, Aichi Prefecture, and the facility was opened to the public on the 2th.
A large refrigerator is installed in the room to store 800 liters, which is about two weeks' worth of donor milk needed nationwide.
In normal times, it is provided to hospitals in the Tokai region that have neonatal intensive care units, but if lifelines in Tokyo are stopped due to a disaster, it is expected that milk will be delivered nationwide instead of two facilities in Tokyo.
Professor Masashi Miyata of the Department of Pediatrics, Fujita Health University Hospital, who is in charge of the project, says, "It has become clear that the prognosis of babies depends on whether or not donor milk is given early, and we want to ensure that it is delivered to babies who need it."