The second Breast Milk Bank in Shiraz was inaugurated at Shiraz Medical University this week. In this way the total number of Breast Milk Banks in Iran has reached ten units.
Breast Milk Banks collect, process and distribute human milk donated by nursing mothers to those infants who have not access to their own mothers’ milk.
The pasteurization machines and systems needed to process and keep the milk were initially built in Tabriz University three years ago where the first Breast Milk Bank in Iran was founded.
The local production made the investment for such banks much more affordable. According to Shiraz Medical University the investment needed for their newest bank was about 4 billion rials, i.e. 95 thousand USD (calculated at governmental exchange rate).
One of the main concerns in founding Milk Banks in Iran was that in Islam, if a woman gives milk to another child for more than one full day, her children and the receiver infant of her milk will become “sisters and brothers” via milk-giving. It therefore will make it impossible that these children marry each other in the future.
This rule in Islam made several donating religious families worried if via donation of their milk, they lose control of who is whom sister or brother?! The concern was later turned out by religious experts that this rule is valid if the mother milks the infant directly with no intermediator. The rule does not apply even if the mother milks the infant using a spoon or so and therefore founding Breast Milk Banks was officially permitted.