Strengthening Newborn Nutrition Through Establishment of the First Human Milk Bank in Vietnam

October 27, 2020

Breastfeeding is one of the most powerful interventions to save infant lives globally. When mother’s own milk is not an option for low-birthweight infants the World Health Organization recommends the provision of pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) from a human milk bank (HMB), as superior to formula. This article details the process in creating the first HMB in Vietnam, The Danang Hospital for Women and Children (DNHWC). The successful integration of a HMB into the existing health system at DNHWC, which improved maternal lactation support and infant feeding practices, provides a model for other hospitals to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding practices to reduce infant deaths, especially for small and sick newborns.