Milwaukee, WI, May 16, 2014 – Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee is excited to announce that it has opened the first Mother’s Milk Depot in Milwaukee County. This was made possible by a grant from the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes (MMBWGL).
Being a Mother’s Milk Depot means that women can come to Columbia St. Mary’s Women’s Hospital (2323 N. Lake Dr.) to donate their extra breast milk.This milk will then be sent to a milk bank where it will be pasteurized and then distributed to Newborn Intensive Care Units (NICU) in need.
“The Columbia Center in Mequon opened a Mother’s Milk Depot this past fall,” says Jenni Strait, a Nurse and Lactation Consultant at Columbia St. Mary’s. “With the Women’s Hospital becoming the first depot in Milwaukee County, this firmly establishes Columbia St. Mary’s as the foremost hospital for mothers in southeastern Wisconsin.”
We will be holding a special opening ceremony on Friday, May 30 at 6 p.m. at the Nicholas Family Education Center at Columbia St. Mary's Women's Hospital. This event will include some short opening remarks from the MMBWGL followed by a ribbon cutting and light refreshments. We will also be showing a screening of Donor Milk: The Documentary, a 50-minute look into the importance of milk donation.
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, including juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and cancer. There are many unique nutrients in breast milk that simply cannot be replicated by infant formula.
“Donated milk is important for babies in the NICU because mother’s milk reduces complications and length of stay for these babies,” says Strait. “For a variety of reasons, many women are unable to breastfeed. Some are on medication that would be harmful for babies while others simply don’t produce enough milk. In those cases, these breast milk depots provide an invaluable service.”
Mothers who are interested in donating milk can call Lactation Services at 414-291-1440 to set up a consultation. They will have a blood test taken and be screened to assure they are not at risk for communicable diseases or on medications that would be dangerous to infants. The screening takes 2-3 weeks and the cost is covered by the milk depot. Once screened, they are allowed to periodically donate milk.