Supporting Human Milk Banks for Babies Born Small (China)

  • Contributing to the Resolution of Social Issues


The Pigeon Group’s Tiny Birth Cry Support Project helps babies who need specialist care—including premature babies, low birthweight babies, and babies needing treatment for diseases—and their families. One activity undertaken as part of this project is PIGEON (SHANGHAI) CO., LTD. (or PSH)’s support for human milk banks, which has been ongoing since 2020.

What Is a Human Milk Bank?

A human milk bank is a facility that receives and processes donations of breast milk so that “donor milk” can be provided to preterm babies or low birthweight babies (defined as babies weighing less than 1,500 g at birth) who cannot obtain breast milk from their own mothers. Human milk banks test, pasteurize, and store donated milk safely according to international operational standards.

Background to This Activity

The first human milk bank in China was founded at the Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center in 2013. Since then, human milk banks have opened in cities including Shanghai, Chongqing, and Beijing. However, due to limited donations as a result of low awareness, insufficient funds for operation, and other factors, China’s human milk banks were able to supply breast milk to only one in ten of the babies who needed it.1 Recognizing this situation, valuing each and every priceless human life, and determined to realize Pigeon’s Purpose, “We want to make the world more baby-friendly by furthering our commitment to understanding and addressing babies' unique needs,” PSH resolved to begin supporting human milk banks.

1. Xinhua, “Few donations, inconsistent standards: Surveying the development of human milk banks in our country.” July 4, 2017.

Support for Establishing Human Milk Banks

Activities with the Beijing Chunmiao Charity Foundation

In November 2020, PSH became the first main partner in the Beijing Chunmiao Charity Foundation’s special human milk bank fund, and between then and July 2023, the company donated a total of 1 million RMB (roughly 19 million JPY), contributing to the opening of a total of human milk banks in six hospitals, including Fujian Children's Hospital, Beijing Huaxin Hospital (the First Hospital of Tsinghua University) and Kunming Children’s Hospital in Yunnan province. Since PSH’s support began, these human milk banks have provided a total of 1.7 million ml to more than 1,100 babies born small.

Activities with the Shanghai Children’s Foundation

Through the Shanghai Children’s Foundation, PSH plans to donate a total of 1.8 million RMB (roughly 35 million JPY) to the Children’s Hospital at Fudan University in Shanghai during the three years from 2022 to 2024. The donated funds will be put toward establishing the largest milk bank in China, currently under construction on the hospital grounds, and creating family rooms so that families can stay closer to their babies in the hospital’s NICU.

  • Family rooms for families with babies in the NICU

In addition, between November 2020 and July 2023, PSH donated around 500,000 RMB (roughly 10 million JPY) worth of breast pumps, breast milk freezer bags, and other products; carried out surveys related to human milk banks; and worked in other ways to support human milk bank operations and raise awareness of human milk banks throughout society.

We will continue to support the healthy development of each and every baby requiring specialist care, along with the happiness and security of their families.

Financial support for families with preterm infants: "Pigeon Preterm Infant Health Insurance" (China)