According to guidelines by the World Health Organisation, babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, as it is a vital source of nutrition and antibodies.

“For premature babies, they have very premature immune and digestive systems,” said KKH’s head of neonatology,

“For these premature babies, exposure to cow’s milk can expose them to a lot of problems including feeding intolerance and the potential development of a condition known as Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC).”

This is a potentially lethal disease in which the intestines of infants can become damaged due to tissue death. the fatality rate in infants afflicted with the disease can be between 30 and 50 per cent.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-launches-first-donor-breast-milk-bank-9130360

MILK BANK PROGRAMME

The programme, a collaboration between KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) and Temasek Foundation Cares, was launched by former Speaker of Parliament and presidential hopeful, Halimah Yacob on Thursday (Aug 17), will provide breast milk for premature and sick neonates from donor mothers.

In a joint media release, KKH and Temasek Foundation Cares said they hope to recruit 375 mothers who are willing to donate their excess breast milk supply. The foundation has set aside S$1.37 million for the milk bank, which will collect, screen, process and store breast milk from donor mothers.

GOT HALAL MILK?

Before anyone even starts to politicize if Muslim babies can only take halal milk (i.e from a Muslim donor), MUIS emphasised the need for the preservation of human life, regardless the religion of the milk donor. Religious texts are also silent on the issue of the religious status of a wet nurse.

The establishment of a milk bank for premature babies who need sufficient nutrients is in line with the objectives of the Shariah — Islamic law that regulates aspects of Muslim life.

MUIS FATWA WAS NOT ONLY ABOUT HALAL MILK

MUIS FATWA was not just about the permissibility of the milk, it is also about kinship. If you drink from someone else’s breast regularly, she effectively becomes a second mother. People fear that by letting a baby consume milk from a certain woman, the baby will be the milk-son of that woman and hence part of her family. And when all grown up, they fear that problems might arise too. Like, say, the individual might unknowingly marry that woman’s son/daughter and that would be incest.

If you drink from someone else’s breast regularly, she effectively becomes a second mother. People fear that by letting a baby consume milk from a certain woman, the baby will be the milk-son of that woman and hence part of her family. And when all grown up, they fear that problems might arise too. Like, say, the individual might unknowingly marry that woman’s son/daughter and that would be incest.

BUT

MUIS is saying that this method of providing milk through this bank does NOT establish kinship because the milk bank consist many donors. So it’s okay. Go ahead