Freezing breast milk, Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital, Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith, Greater London
Milk that was not immediately required for use was frozen into milk tablets. The picture shows the milk being poured into the metal mould which is resting on a block of “Drykold” (solid carbon dioxide) to freeze it for later use. The Human Milk Bureau was established in 1939 and is now the oldest continuously operating milk bank in the world. The need for human milk was recognised after the birth of quadruplets in St Neot’s in 1935, with breast milk being delivered to their home daily, and following urgent calls for milk. The milk was obtained only from nursing mothers recommended by medical officers, and was thoroughly tested. The milk bank provided breast milk to preterm and sick babies, and milk could be dispatched almost immediately to any part of the country. The milk bank now operates from Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital and serves neonatal units in London and the Greater London area.