Nursing Moms Can Now Donate Breast Milk Locally
May 14, 2013 | WMFE- The first donation to Central Florida's new Milk Depot is put in the freezer as part of Florida Hospital's grand opening for its new human milk depository.
[Milk Depot donations go into a deep freeze prior to shipping]
Lactation experts say there’s a critical need for breast milk for premature babies, who often can’t be nursed for a variety of reasons. Until now, local mothers who wanted to donate milk had to send it to an out of state milk bank. Florida Hospital lactation specialist Stacie Gehring said that's why the depot is needed.
“It just makes donating for the average mom a lot more convenient, she doesn’t have to worry about packing and shipping on her own,” said Gehring.
Prospective donors must have a blood test to verify that they’re healthy, and any milk received is screened and pasteurized. For now, local milk will be shipped to a milk bank in Denver- one of just 11 nationwide- but there are plans underway to establish a local milk bank.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pasteurized donor human milk to premature infants when their own mother’s milk is unavailable. Research has shown that breast milk is key to building a strong immune system and in some instances can prove to be life-saving. Florida Hospital says last year it used 10-thousand ounces of milk from the Denver milk bank.