The benefits of breast milk are numerous and well-established. Breast-fed children are more resistant to disease and infection, and they are less likely to contract a number of diseases later in life. Breast milk contains many unique nutrients that simply cannot be replicated by infant formula.
Breast milk is especially important for babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Units because it can reduce complications and length-of-stay. Made possible by a grant from the Mothers' Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes, the Columbia St. Mary's Mother's Milk Depot is a place where women can donate their extra breast milk for babies who need it.
Each donor is required to be screened and have a blood test to assure they are not at risk for communicable diseases or on medications that would be dangerous to infants. The screening takes two to three weeks, and the cost is covered by the Milk Depot. After successful screening, women are able to donate their extra breast milk which is then pasteurized and distributed to NICUs in need.
Interested in donating milk? Call Lactation Services at 414-585-1440.