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March 1979

Human Milk BankingHigh Rate of Interest for a Still Uncertain Credit Balance

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Hopital Ste-Justine and University of Montreal 3175 Ste-Catherine Rd Montreal, Quebec H3T 1C5, Canada

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(3):255-256. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130030031002

Human milk is unquestionably the best source of nutrition for infants. Recent publications have emphasized the uniqueness of its bio-chemical composition and particularly of its immunochemical and cellular components.1

The renewed interest in providing infants of low birth weight with human milk largely stems from the immunologic protection it confers against infections, allergy, and, to perhaps an appreciable degree, necrotizing enterocolitis. Human milk has come back into favor in intensive care nurseries; consequently there has been a resurgence of interest for human milk banks, which stopped operating in North America shortly after World War II. However, the milk bank tradition was never abandoned in certain British hospitals as well as in Scandinavia. The Helsinki Children's Hospital experience now spans 50 years.2 The collection, processing, and storage of human milk may be initiated to meet the needs of infants of low birth weight, of full-term infants who temporarily cannot

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