Donated breast milk is a precious resource that can help premature infants grow and thrive.
Mother’s Milk Depot is the first milk depot in Lincoln to collect breast milk from mothers who wish to donate to help premature babies in need. It is part of our continued commitment to provide women and babies with comprehensive medical resources.
The power of human donor breast milk
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pasteurized donor human milk for premature infants when a mother’s own milk is not available. Donor breast milk helps preterm or medically fragile babies build strong immune systems and it is easier on the digestive system.
Research shows that pre-term babies benefit from donor breast milk, because they have lower incidence of infections and necrotising enterocolitis, a severe bowel condition that can cause the need for extensive surgery or death.
In the United States, there is a shortage of human donor breast milk. We have been utilizing donor breast milk in our NICU for nearly six years. Over the course of the last six years, there have been several times when we have been unable to give babies in our NICU human donor breast milk, because of a national shortage.
As more NICUs in the country begin using human donor milk, the demand for the milk increases and the supply provided by milk banks isn’t enough. That is why we are very excited to launch a milk depot where we can help a greater number of infants and give mothers the opportunity to donate excess milk to help premature babies.
Is donor breast milk safe?
All donors will be pre-screened and tested through a screening process to ensure that they are healthy. Saint Elizabeth has partnered with the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa to provide this service to the Lincoln area. Once the mom brings her donation to the milk depot, it is stored in a deep freeze until it is delivered to the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa for processing. The donor milk is pasteurized and tested to ensure that it is safe for the baby and is also nutritionally sound. Frozen donor milk is transported from the milk bank to hospitals and given to babies in need.
How do you become a milk donor?
The process of becoming a milk donor is a simple three step process that includes a phone interview, a health history questionnaire and a blood test, which is completed at no charge to the donor at the Saint Elizabeth Outpatient Lab. Once the donor has been approved, a convenient time will be arranged for milk drop off. We even offer ‘curbside pickup’ for busy donors.
The first step is to call the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa at 1-877-891-5347 to learn more about donor criteria and to begin the screening process.
If you have any questions, please call the Mother’s Milk Depot at Saint Elizabeth at 402-219-7061.
The Mother’s Milk Depot at Saint Elizabeth opened on Thursday, August 1, 2013. Saint Elizabeth is a collection site for mothers interested in donating breast milk through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). HMBANA is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports safe, ethical and cost-effective methods of collecting and processing donor milk.
Mother’s Milk Depot is located on the main level at Saint Elizabeth in the Infant and Children’s Sleep Apnea Center and will offer convenient drop-off to those who are donating breast milk to help other babies.
For more information please contact the Mother’s Milk Depot at Saint Elizabeth at 402-219-7061.