Milk Banking Around the World
It is well known that Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas is a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). HMBANA is the professional association for nonprofit milk banks in the U.S. and Canada that provides guidelines, operates inspections, fosters communication between member milk banks and does much more to create a community of milk banking professionals.
But what does milk banking look like in the rest of the world? Across the globe, there are milk banks and organizations dedicated to providing the best nutrition for babies in need. Last year, we shared the story of Brazilian milk banks. The Brazilian Human Milk Banks Network consists of more than 200 milk banks and is so widespread that donor moms have their milk picked up from home, sometimes even by police officers or firefighters trained in milk transport.
In Europe, there are more than 200 active milk banks and 17 currently in development. Many countries have their own national associations to regulate the milk banks within their own borders. In turn, those organizations are members of the European Milk Bank Association (EMBA), which unites professionals across Europe. EMBA also promotes research regarding breastmilk and human milk banking. There are 28 countries with membership in EMBA, crossing the continent from as far west as Portugal to as far east as Russia and Turkey.
Milk banking is less developed in other parts of the world, but is becoming more widespread. For example, the first milk bank in Vietnam just opened earlier this year in February. Medical professionals are also working to refine the milk banking system in India.
As milk banking continues expand globally, more and more sick babies will be able to receive the best nutrition possible.
For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, click here.