ATM dispensing mother’s milk is the brain child of the students of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry. It started its services last week with an aim to nourish premature babies born at the institute.The dispenser named ‘Amudham Thaippal Maiyam’ (ATM) will also offer breastfeeding counselling to mothers. In Tamil language ‘Amudham’ means nectar, ‘Thaippal’ stands for breastfeeding and ‘Maiyam’ means center or an institute.
According to Subhash Chandra Parija, Director of JIPMER, close to 1,500 babies are born in JIPMER every month. About 30 percent of them are either born premature or with a low birth weight. This is an attempt to take care of such babies, who need additional care and nourishment.
“Mother’s milk is extremely important for the newborns. There are many instances where the newborn is not able to get milk from the mother. When the mother suffers from lactating issues, postpartum illness or ailments like HIV, Hepatitis or fungal nipple infection, the baby suffers from the lack of human milk. The machines are set up in order to serve such infants,” said Subhash Chandra Parija.
“We have strict screening for female donors. We screen them for all possible diseases including HIV and Hepatitis and then the procured milk is pasteurized at 63.5 degrees C for 35 minutes followed by other processes as per the Pasteurized Human Donor Milk guidelines,” JIPMER Director Subhash Chandra Parija said.
The mother’s milk bank may be a boon to underweight, preterm babies who cannot be breastfed.