- Soon, women who donate breast milk in the ‘Human Milk Bank’ are likely to get Rs 500 as financial assistance.
- The Women and Child Rights Committee of the Maharashtra government has given this suggestion to the state.
- The Women and Child Rights Committee will be giving their recommendation to the Maharashtra Assembly.
As per World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 13.5 to 18 lakh infants lose their lives as they don’t get breastfed on time. In India, there are 13 Human Milk Banks, out of which 5 are in Mumbai.
So, in order to motivate the women to come forward and donate breast milk, the committee has suggested providing financial assistance to the women.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, BJP MLA Bharti Lavekar said, “We had been visiting various hospitals across the state. We have inspected a few Human Milk Banks as well. Women are coming forward to donate breast milk. After they breastfeed their babies they donate milk in the milk bank.”
She further added, “When we inquired we found out that, those who donate milk do not get any remuneration. So, we have suggested the state government provide financial assistance to these women.”
While Dr Jayashree Mondkar, Dean of Mumbai’s civic-run Sion hospital said, “A newborn baby requires milk 3-4 times in a day. A number of infants do not get breastfed due to various reasons. So, we request the lactating mother to donate their milk. Hence, the state government should form strict guidelines, regarding who will be getting financial aid.”
Dr Madhukar Gaikwad, Medical Superintendent, of Mumbai’s state-run St George hospital said, “A couple of days ago, we had a suggestion on this issue in the meeting to provide financial assistance to the mother who donates milk. The state government is preparing a comprehensive draft on this.”
View of the lactation experts
Dr Sarita Bhagwat, “This will definitely give a boost to the Human Milk Bank and help create awareness among the mothers about donating milk.”
Reshma Siddhaye, “Personally, I am not in favour of this policy. Women should voluntarily come forward and donate milk. We say mother’s milk is priceless, so this might lead to the commercialisation of the breast milk donation process.”