Thursday, November 4, 2010

Breast milk storage bank

My mom is a lactation consultant, so donated breast milk doesn't seem weird to me. I know a couple guys who would really freak out at the thought. I think it's amazing that women who have a lot of breast milk take the time to donate it to help the tiniest babies survive. What a wonderful service!

There is not a milk bank in Central Illinois, but if you are interested in donating your extra breast milk you can contact the Human Milk Banking Association.

FROM NBC: Experts recommend breast milk for newborns because of the numerous health benefits. Many hospitals are now offering donated breast milk to babies whose mothers, for whatever reason, are unable to provide their own. Wendy sears is the proud mother of twin baby girls. All along throughout her pregnancy she planned to breastfeed. Wendy Sears, New Mother:"Every study you could ever read suggests that breastfeeding gives them immunity for so many different things." But their birth brought some surprises. they arrived nearly two months early. Wendy's milk didn't come quite as quickly.

Wendy Sears, New Mother: "In the beginning, I had a hard time really making enough for just one, much less for both."
Fortunately, these babies are patients at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. It's now standard of care here to provide donated breast milk to babies born before 32 weeks or weighing less than 4 pounds when their mother can't for whatever reason. Dr. Kathleen Marinelli, Neonatologist: "The donors are screened the same way as someone who would be donating blood or donating an organ. So they're screened for all the viruses and lifestyle issues and drug use and things that would make you worry about using this milk."

Dr. Kathleen Marinellis is a Neonatologist. She's also the medical director of the New England breast milk bank outside of Boston. She says sick and premature babies are the priority to receive donations. Dr. Kathleen Marinelli, Neonatologist: "It helps mature their GI tract. It has immune factors in it. It has all types of things that help them mature and develop in ways they otherwise wouldn't have having come out of mom's womb early."

Cate Vallone of Hartford is another new mom...not receiving, but donating breast milk. She realized her baby was allergic to something in her diet, so she couldn't use the 70 ounces of milk she had frozen.
Cate Vallone, Breast Milk Donor: "One of my girlfriends had a baby just a few weeks after I did and she was breastfeeding also and not making quite enough milk." So she offered to share hers. Cate Vallone, Breast Milk Donor: "On one hand I guess it could seem weird if you hadn't done it before, but there's lots of times we share some of ourself with another person. There's donating blood and stuff so I didn't see how this was too different from that." For the health of her babies, Wendy sears is thankful for moms like Cate. "I think it is a fantastic program."

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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