Bonda Halimatussaadia Milk Centre to help premature babies, ill newborns

The Sultan Ahmad Shah Medical Centre at the International Islamic University Malaysia in Kuantan, Pahang, aims to feed all babies delivered there with mother’s milk, with the setting up of the Bonda Halimatussaadia Milk Centre.

Its founder, Associate Professor Datuk Dr Hamizah Ismail, stressed that “every baby should receive mother’s milk”.

“This is not only good for the baby, but also, for his or her generation,” said Dr Hamizah.

“Mothers of premature babies may find it difficult to provide milk, especially in the early days. The donated milk will ensure that these babies receive milk. It’s only temporary until the mother is ready to feed her child.”

Dr Hamizah added that donors are subjected to a stringent screening process to protect the wellbeing of newborns.

“Once we identify a donor, we will screen the individual. We ensure that the donor has enough milk for her own child. The donor will also be screened for health, mental, and social issues, and will undergo a blood test.

“We need to know everything about the milk donor. The babies will also not be fed more than three times with the donated milk.”

Dr Hamizah said this on Bernama TV this afternoon.

She added that her team had even consulted the state religious authorities to ensure that everything was in order.

“It’s not like a bank, where you have no money, you go to the bank (to get a loan). This (milk) bank is only for premature babies and babies who are ill.”

The centre, named after the nursing mother of Prophet Muhammad, is the first Syariah-compliant milk bank in Malaysia. Plans to establish the milk bank started in 2019.

The Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah launched the centre on July 26.

Tunku Azizah, in encouraging mothers with an oversupply of breast milk to donate to the centre, said at the launch, that breast milk has nutrients that are best for babies. She hoped more women would be aware of the existence of the centre.

It is part of the hospital’s initiative, in which extensive research was conducted and a comprehensive standard operating procedure was created, to comply with the maqasid syariah concept of preserving not only life, but also lineage, property, and intellect.

Tunku Azizah alerted Twentytwo13 to the milk bank initiative via Instagram (@Twentytwo13news) following this news website’s report yesterday that Malaysia did not have adequate laws to protect breastfeeding mothers.

Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor Association president Dr Nadrah Arfizah Arifin said while government hospitals were breastfeeding-friendly hospitals, not all private hospitals have adopted this initiative.

Dr Nadrah said this in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week, which started yesterday.

Donors can find out more about Bonda Halimatussaadia Milk Centre by calling +609-5912615 or email them at: hmmc_sasmec@iium.edu.my