Exclusive Human Milk Diet isn’t Just Nutrition-it’s Medicine
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], November 17: Prematurity is one of the most prevalent causes of neonatal mortality worldwide. Since these babies are born before time, premature mortality is primarily related to the immaturity of the vital organs, making them prone to a higher risk of infections.
In an initiative to reduce the premature mortality rate under the ‘Save Babies’ campaign, NeoLacta Lifesciences is bringing together professionals, parents and members of clinical, community health, and family support organizations to spread awareness about the importance of Exclusive Human Milk Diet (EHMD).
According to Dr. Geetika Gangwani, Lactation Consultant, “I believe healthcare professionals should come forward and support the initiative of ensuring access to an exclusive human milk for newborn infants, especially those with a birth weight less than or equal to1,250 grams because of the overwhelming evidence supporting human milk nutrition for these tiny ones”.
Feeding is considered as a nutritional emergency and should therefore be included in NICU protocols related to nutrition and feeding. For EHMD to be ensured, the availability of pasteurized donor human milk must be facilitated by strengthening the human milk donation and awareness measures. Furthermore, human milk nutritional products, such as Human Milk-based Fortifier, have been used in over 200 super speciality hospitals over the last 2 years since it was introduced in India. Developed markets such as the US, UK and Europe have had this concept for over 20 years.
Dr. Vikram Reddy, Chief Scientific Officer at NeoLacta Lifesciences, informs, “In research, it has been found that infants fed with an exclusive human milk diet have a lower incidence of respiratory complications, gastrointestinal infections, and other serious health problems.
An Exclusive Human Milk Diet is a combination of Mother’s Milk, screened pasteurized human milk from a qualified donor, and a human milk-based fortifier when required. This ensures the infant is not exposed to any source of bovine milk components, thereby minimising the risks associated with prematurity.
“EHMD also significantly reduces the risk of life-threatening conditions such as Sepsis and Necrotising Enterocolitis which are common for premature infants, says Dr. Vikram Reddy.
The exclusive Human Milk Diet has immense benefits beyond just nutrition. Immunological and anti-infective components are one of the unique benefits of human milk, which ensure protection against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections in infants. This is even more important for premature babies who have immature organs and immune systems. In spite of recent advancements in dairy sciences, these components have not been replicated in artificial products such as Infant formula, thus making them exclusive for human milk and human milk-derived products.
Overall, there is a direct correlation between the maintenance of an exclusive human milk diet and lower mortality when compared to a bovine milk-based diet derived from dairy products. Since human milk cannot be synthesised in labs, a donation from voluntary mothers remains the only source and thus has been rightly referred to as liquid gold. ‘Save Babies’ initiative aims to dispel myths about breast milk donation and encourage mothers who wish to donate the excess breast milk, which can potentially save thousands of lives in India.
In essence, human milk has evolved over millions of years to be the optimal choice of superfood for infants. Human milk isn’t just nutrition—it’s medicine.
About NeoLacta Lifesciences
NeoLacta is the 1st and only company in India and Asia to have developed a state-of-the-art human milk processing facility compliant to pasteurising guidelines of the World Health Organization along with being ISO 22000:2018 certified, GMP compliant, and FSSAI approved. This helps caregivers and decision-makers adhere to a 100% human milk diet without having to rely on bovine milk-based products, which also contain multiple synthetic additives.
All proprietary equipment has been designed & built by an in-house engineering team to ensure the highest level of safety, hygiene and quality. NeoLacta is the only human milk facility in India to have ISO clean rooms, HACCP certified processes, onsite R&D, chemical and microbial labs and walk-in freezers, which distinguishes NeoLacta from any standard human milk bank. Moreover, the proprietary technologies used for processing makes India the 2nd nation globally after the US to have a facility of this kind.
Continuing the legacy of supporting parents and clinicians by providing 100% human milk-based neonatal products, operations have been recently launched in the United Kingdom under the banner of NeoKare Nutrition. The founders of both the organisations, NeoLacta and NeoKare, have extensive backgrounds in human milk technology since they were instrumental in establishing the 1st milk bank in Australia at KEM, Perth, WA, in 2000.