More Texas Hospitals and Clinics are Supporting Nonprofit Milk Banks by Opening Donor Drop-off Locations
AUSTIN, TEXAS (PRWEB) May 11, 2012
As more doctors prescribe donor human milk to feed premature and ill infants, 10 regional hospitals and clinics across Texas are helping to meet the growing demand for donor human milk (aka donor breastmilk) by opening “milk depots” in their lactation centers and neonatal intensive care units.
These sites in greater Houston, greater Austin, the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, and north and west Texas are part of a growing list of healthcare providers that are collecting donor breastmilk on behalf of the two Texas nonprofit milk banks, the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin and the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas.
Together, these nonprofit milk banks pasteurize and distribute donor human milk by prescription to hospitals and families caring for premature or ill infants. Premature infants who are fed with human milk, either from their own mothers or a screened milk donor, decrease their risks of a serious and life-threatening intestinal infection known as necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC.
“Our new agreements with hospitals, WIC offices and even private pediatric practices are helping to ensure we continue to have enough donor milk to meet the growing demand,” says Kim Updegrove, Executive Director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin. “The power of a single ounce of breastmilk makes it more precious than gold,” Updegrove adds. “One ounce of donor human milk is three meals for a small, preterm infant, and it is our mission to meet all the needs of all of these medically fragile babies.”
Women across Texas and the United States who are currently breastfeeding infants under one year of age are eligible to be screened at no charge to become breastmilk donors. Nonprofit milk banks such as the ones in Austin and Fort Worth ensure donor human milk is safe and available to the infants who need it most.
The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin and the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas are among the largest suppliers of donor human milk to hospitals across Texas and in 18 states. In 2011, they collectively distributed more than a half million ounces of donor human milk, equal to more than 1.5 million feedings for medically fragile infants. The pasteurized breast milk dispensed is specifically processed to meet the needs of fragile and sick babies, serving babies with the greatest medical needs, regardless of family’s ability to cover the processing fees.
“These newest openings mean that there are now 40 milk depots in Texas, working with either the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin or the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, to collect much-needed breastmilk,” said Amy Vickers, Executive Director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. “These new milk depots make it easier for women to donate, and we are deeply grateful for them. Our breastmilk donors are truly lifesavers,” said Vickers.
The new milk depot locations include two Houston area hospitals, Memorial Hermann Katy, and Clear Lake Regional Medical Center; Central Texas’ St. David’s Hospital Georgetown; University Medical Center in Lubbock; and Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo.
The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin and the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas are two of 12 milk banks who are members of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). HMBANA is a membership organization of health care providers and milk bank administrators that promotes, protects, and supports donor milk banking. It is the only professional membership association for milk banks in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and sets the standards and guidelines for donor milk banking in those areas.
About the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin
The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accept, pasteurize and dispense donor human milk by physician prescription, primarily to premature and ill infants. Women who are lactating can donate milk to The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin regardless of where they live. In 2011, the milk bank received donations from women in 26 states and 168 cities including 98 cities in Texas. Prospective donors across the U.S. may call toll-free 1-877-813-6455. Learn more at http://www.milkbank.com.
About the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas
The Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accept, pasteurize and dispense donor human milk by physician prescription, primarily to premature and ill infants. Women who are lactating can donate milk to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas regardless of where they live. Prospective donors across the U.S. may call toll-free 1-866-810-0071. Learn more at http://www.texasmilkbank.org.