Human Milk Derived Products For Newborns

Such products are helpful in ensuring that the baby remains on an exclusive human milk diet.

Mother’s milk has long been documented as the elixir of life. For the unfortunate few who cannot access their mother’s milk, a powder formula acts as a poor substitute. With the pandemic’s second wave on a strong killing spree at the moment, the number of orphaned babies has risen dramatically, escalating the need for easily available mother’s milk. Few firms in this sector realized that breast milk banks cannot possibly fulfill the requirement of human milk and worked on a revolutionary product to address this need.  

NeoLacta Lifesciences is a research-based organization with a pharmaceutical-grade facility in Bengaluru. Their proprietary technology offers nutritional solutions for the requirements of babies. Developed in Australia, they are currently the only organization in Asia to have developed 100 per cent human milk-derived products for neonatal nutrition. 

Dr Vikram Reddy, the Chief Scientific Officer of NeoLacta Lifesciences explains, “Human milk ensures ‘intact survival’ for babies and avoids complications and co-morbidities that often develop at birth. Numerous clinical trials have proven the value of human milk-derived products in saving lives of premature babies, low birth weight babies, and as an alternative for low/non-lactating mothers.” WHO endorses this need through its recommendation for using pasteurized donor milk as an alternate in the absence of the mother’s own milk. 

The technology used by NeoLacta for its innovative products was developed in Australia in 2016. Production began soon after, through a facility in Jigani, Bengaluru. Over the last five years, the team worked on producing new products and increased their reach. They currently hold a patent for their mother’s milk fortifier.

Dr Reddy asserts the importance of their work by saying, “We are the only organization in Asia that offers customized value-added products derived from human milk. There are a few traditional milk banks that are operational in India but they have limited geographical reach and only offer pasteurized donor milk. With the largest number of premature babies - approximately 3.5 million per year - born in India, the need of the hour is to promote human milk nutrition both in the form of mother’s own milk or pasteurized donor milk.”  

Neolacta Lifesciences offer two variants of donor human milk - the first is a frozen liquid and the second comes in powder sachets. Both products guarantee the baby 70 calories for every 100 ml consumed. Their third and perhaps most important product is the Mother’s milk fortifier, which acts as a supplement to meet protein and energy deficits in newborns. This is a significant improvement on bovine-based fortifiers which can have serious repercussions on the baby’s health.    

NeoLacta has had to work against fixed Indian mindsets that are not open to the idea of donating or receiving human milk. However, the team has worked systematically to overcome this perception, they have always maintained transparency in their processes and kept the key stakeholders from the medical fraternity, lactation professionals and parent community involved every step of the way. Their scientific team constantly works with clinicians across India for research studies that help improve health outcomes and encourage evidence-based practices.” 

Their social initiative ‘Save Babies’ focusses on running awareness campaigns, organizing parent sessions and providing financial support to those in need. They also run a Donor Support program where they counsel, test for infections and provide breast pumps and bottles to donor mothers.  

Currently, NeoLacta solutions are available at over 200 super-specialty hospitals throughout the country and will soon be available in e-pharmacies as well. Since the products are derived entirely from human milk, they can be used on their own or in combination with the mother’s own breast milk if the supply is low. This ensures the baby remains on an exclusive human milk diet.  


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