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Pediatría (Asunción)

versão On-line ISSN 1683-9803


HERRERA, Marta et al. Launch of the First Human Milk Bank at the San Pablo Mother and Child Hospital in Asunción, Paraguay. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2013, vol.40, n.3, pp.253-260. ISSN 1683-9803.

Mother's milk is the ideal source of nutrition for the newborn; it contains all the nutrients necessary for the child's growth and other elements such as protection factors that no other type of milk can provide, making it even more important for the premature or ill child. It has been clearly demonstrated that consumption of mother's milk reduces complications in very-low birthweight and premature infants. However, individual mothers do not always produce sufficient milk for their child, and it is to meet the resulting need that milk banks came into existence. They are considered to be important in reducing rates of morbidity and mortality in infants, especially newborns. On April 22, 2010, the first human milk bank in Paraguay was opened in the Asunción Metropolitan area at the San Pablo Mother and Child Hospital, which possesses a high-complexity neonatal intensive care unit, and is a facility of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare. The milk bank was created with assistance from Brazil through the Ibero-American Network of Human Milk Banks, and therefore follows the Brazilian model, with unquestionable quality and safety standards for the milk deposited. As no legislation yet exists in Paraguay regulating milk donation, the technical standards used in Brazil, which include strict safety and tracking standards, have been adopted. In this article we detail the various procedures used at the San Pablo Hospital milk bank, summarize the experience of the first few years of operation, and outline future projects to routinely provide milk from the bank to other public and private neonatology services through the creation over the medium and long term of human-milk collection points at all mother and child hospitals in the country.

Palavras-chave : Milk banks; human milk; newborn.

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