Monday, December 02, 2013

Japan gets human milk bank

Japan's Showa University School of Medicine has launched the country's first milk bank and plans to create a non-profit organization to launch more milk banks across the country over the next five years. According to Dr. Shoo Lee of the Canadian Neonatal Network, Japan has been successful in reducing its NEC rate to 0.5 per cent due to the use of exclusive human milk in the NICU. (See Human Milk News, Sept 2012: Canada looks to Japan's low NEC rate and use of only human milk in the NICU
Showa University creates Japan's 1st breast milk bank - Nov 30, 2013 - Asahi Shimbun 
The university's Department of Pediatrics plans to turn the milk bank into a nonprofit organization and popularize the service in Japan within the next five years.
Babies with low birth weights often have immune systems that are not fully functional, and breast milk is effective at preventing the risk of various diseases.
The proportion of undersized infants is rising in Japan, due to causes such as older mothers giving birth and the use of fertility treatments.
The milk bank got its start after receiving the approval of the university's ethics committee.
Tokyo's Showa University School of Medicine has developed Japan's first milk bank to make breast milk available to mothers who cannot produce their own due to illness or premature birth.... (full story.)

Of note, look at the lovely photo Asahi Shimbun used to illustrate this article.

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