Memorial Hospital creates milk depot to help infants in need

Sourced from Dubois County Free Press

Memorial Hospital is partnering with The Milk Bank to create a milk depot to collect breast milk for fragile infants in hospital neonatal intensive care units.

The two organizations will celebrate with a grand opening 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 22. The public is invited.

This milk collection site is the first in Dubois County and provides a convenient drop-off for women to donate their extra breast milk for processing at The Milk Bank.

The idea to partner with The Milk Bank developed through the hospital’s dedication to providing new mothers with lactation services. Through the services that have been available for many years, the hospital learned that some mothers have excess breast milk that would go to waste. In these instances, the mothers were looking for a place to donate their breast milk.

The hospital, which does not have a neonatal intensive care unit, established the milk depot to allow those mothers to donate their excess breast milk to help infants in need.

Founded in 2005 as the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank, The Milk Bank was established to improve health outcomes for premature and ill infants, foster better health for children and decrease health care expenditures. The Milk Bank receives human milk from carefully screened donors, pasteurizes, freezes and distributes it throughout the United States.

As a non-profit, community-supported entity, The Milk Bank is the first and only donor human milk bank in Indiana.

“Preterm infants fed human milk spent 15 fewer days hospitalized than those receiving formula. – (Wight, 2001)”

“We are very excited to collaborate with The Milk Bank to provide a depot for the community and surrounding area. Being a collection point will allow easy access for generous women who donate their milk,” Patty Scherle, Director of Women and Infant Services at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center said. “Together we can make a difference for those premature infants to help provide a healthier life.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, human milk is the standard food for all infants including premature and sick infants. Human milk provides optimal nutrition and unique health benefits that last beyond infancy.

Mothers who are interested in donating milk can call to set up a phone consultation with The Milk Bank’s donor mother coordinator.

Individuals will be asked to complete a written questionnaire and have blood drawn at a Memorial Hospital lab, all at The Milk Bank’s expense.