Initial milk bank had been founded in 1989 in Lodz but despite increasing activity during the years 1991 to 1995 it has been closed in the late 90’s. The organization and activity of this bank have been described by dr Bogumila Penc in the Journal of Human Lactation Vol 12, No. 3 1996 (pages 243-246). Closing the bank in Lodz started over a decade when there have been no established donor milk banks in Poland.
In 2008 dr n biol Aleksandra Wesolowska has taken the initiative for reactivation of milk banks in Poland by starting first Stowarzyszenie Na Rzecz Banku Mleka Kobiecego (Association For Human Milk Bank), then by creating Fundacja Bank Mleka Kobiecego (Human Milk Bank Foundation). Consistent effort made by Foundation resulted in establishing the first milk bank in Warsaw in 2012.
Currently there are 10 milk bans affiliated to the Foundation, building a constantly growing network of milk banks in Poland. Currently there are milk banks operating in cities of Warsaw (2 banks), Torun, Wroclaw, Cracow, Opole, Ruda Slaska, Poznan, Szczecin and Rzeszow. Opening of new banks is planned soon – in Lodz, Gdansk and second bank in Rzeszow. For the last 2 years Polish Ministry of Health has been regularly organizing contents to help new outposts to get funding.
Important milestone on establishing new milk banks has been a monograph “Banki Mleka w Polsce – funkcjonowanie w podmiotach leczniczych – idea i praktyka” (“Milk banks in Poland – functioning in healing entities – idea and practice”) published in 2017 by Fundacja Bank Mleka Kobiecego. Dr Aleksandra Wesolowska has been the science editor of this book. The book has been written by team of experts appointed by Chief Sanitary Inspector in order to regulate operations of milk banks in healing entities in Poland.
Thanks to work and consistent effort of Aleksandra Wesolowska and her Foundation there is an increasing awareness and interest in Poland regarding the topics of human breast milk and natural baby feeding, both in the communities of mothers and scientists.
Miasta St. Warszawa