Got Extra Breastmilk? New Donor Depot Opens in Pioneer Valley!

Donor Breastmilk Depot Opens in Pioneer Valley
Life-Saving for Preterm Infants

Thank you to the first donor to the breastmilk depot!

If you find that you have more than enough breastmilk, milk donation may be a way for you to protect the health of premature infants… and for Valley families, it just got more convenient to donate!

The Pioneer Valley Breastfeeding Coalition has announced the opening of a new donor breastmilk depot, housed at Northampton Area Pediatrics in Northampton, MA.  This depot will store and send milk to the Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.

Donor milk banking, which began in the U.S. in 1911, is a way of providing human milk to premature and very sick infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).  Donor milk is provided as a supplement – not a replacement – for preterm babies whose mothers aren’t able to provide enough milk…

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Mothers Asked to Make Human Milk Donations for Haiti Infants

Urgent Call for Human Milk Donations for Haiti Infants

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) are jointly issuing an urgent call for human milk donations for premature infants in Haiti, as well as sick and premature infants in the United States.

This week the first shipment of human milk from mothers in the United States will be shipped to the U.S. Navy ship Comfort stationed outside Haiti. Comfort is currently set up with a neonatal intensive care unit and medical personnel to provide urgent care to victims of the earthquake. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant stationed at the U.S. Navy base in Bethesda, MD is assisting with providing breast pump equipment and supplies to Comfort. Dr. Erika Beard-Irvine, pediatric neonatologist, is on board to coordinate distribution of the milk to infants in need. HMBANA, USBC, ILCA/USLCA, and LLLI are responding to requests to provide milk for both premature infants and at-risk mothers who have recently delivered babies on board the USNS Comfort, but an urgent need exists for additional donations.

At the current time, the infrastructure to deliver human milk to Haiti infants on land has not yet been established. As soon as that infrastructure is in place, additional donations will be provided to older infants.

Mothers who are willing to donate human milk should contact their regional Mothers’ Milk Bank of HMBANA. A list of regional milk banks is available on the HMBANA web site.

Currently milk banks are already low on donor milk. New milk donations will be used for Haiti victims as well as to replenish donor supplies to continue to serve sick and premature infants in the United States. Donor milk provides unique protection for fragile preterm infants.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Emergency Nutrition Network, and medical professionals all recommend that breastfeeding and human milk be used for infants in disasters or emergencies. Human milk is life-saving due to its disease prevention properties. It is safe, clean, and does not depend on water which is often unavailable or contaminated in an emergency. Relief workers, health care providers, and other volunteers are urged to provide support for breastfeeding mothers to enable them to continue breastfeeding, and to assist pregnant and postpartum women in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

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