A woman pumps her breast milk out at Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
China's first breast milk bank — based in Guangzhou — has helped cure 365 seriously ill babies in the past five years.
Since the facility was opened at Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center in 2013, 811 mothers have donated more than 1,460 liters of breast milk.
Liu Xihong, a childhood nutrition expert in charge of the bank, said breast milk is not only food for babies but also medicine for sick infants.
"Feeding babies who are seriously ill with breast milk, which has no side effects, is also a first-aid measure," she said. "Breast milk is the best food for babies under 6 months old. It's particularly important to premature infants.
Xu Liang, a TV host and the first mother to donate breast milk to the bank, said it could save the lives of babies who are critically ill.
Her donation five years ago helped cure a 10-month-old baby who urgently needed extra nutrition after intestinal surgery.
Xu said she is still promoting breast feeding and encouraging local mothers who have extra breast milk to donate it to the bank.
There are now 17 breast milk banks in China.