Archive for the ‘Mother’s Milk Bank’ Category

Urgent Call for Breastmilk Donations

Nationwide supply is inadequate to meet demand for premature and ill infants in need

The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin, one of the largest suppliers of donor human milk to hospitals across Texas and in 14 states, is joining The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) to ask healthy lactating mothers to consider donating to a milk bank so that fragile babies will be fed this life-giving and sustaining nutrition.

HMBANA announced that the non-profit milk banks in the U.S. have reached critically low levels of screened donor human milk for fragile babies in relation to demand.

“We are grateful for the hundreds of women who have donated their time and their life-saving milk to The Mothers’ Milk Bank over the last year,” says Kim Updegrove, RN, CNM, MSN, MPH, Executive Director, The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin. “Our goal is to find 500 donor women in 2011 to meet the growing demand for this resource.”

Neonatologists who care for the tiniest and most fragile patients use donor human milk because it provides immunologic and growth factors as well as optimal nutrition. “A mothers’ own milk is the superior food for premature infants, and when a mother cannot provide, donor human milk is the next best thing – it is truly life-saving,” says Peter Untalan, MD, a neonatologist and president of the board of trustees, The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin.

The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin provides donor milk to 57 hospitals across Texas and the U.S., including Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, where mothers’ own milk and donor human milk are the standard of care for premature infants. Premature infants who are fed with human milk decrease their risks of a serious and life-threatening intestinal infection known as necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC.

Though rates of premature birth remain steady in the U.S., at one in 8 live births, the demand for donor human milk is rising because of its effectiveness.

“We have seen the rates of NEC decline from 8-10 percent to less than one percent since 2009, when we began requiring pasteurized donor breast milk when mothers’ own milk is not available for our infants,” says Nancy Hurst, PhD, RN, IBCLC, and director of Women’s Support Services at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Women who are lactating can donate milk to The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin regardless of where they live. In 2010 the milk bank received donations from women in 35 states and 62 cities in Texas. Prospective donors across the U.S. may call toll-free 1-877-813-6455. In Central Texas, prospective donors may call 512-494-0800.

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Mothers’ Milk Bank News & Information

Austin readers, please join me in cheering on the work of this critically valuable organization for our community’s babies and beyond!

The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin is celebrating their new digs this week with a house-warming party on Thursday evening, March 25th,  from 5 – 7:00 pm. Hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served.

Their new facility features three state-of-the-art pasteurizing labs, a drive-thru Milk Drop for milk donors, a meeting room where groups can gather, and expanded office space for staff.

New Address: 2911 Medical Arts St., Suite 12 (in Medical Arts Square), Austin, TX 78705

For those of you that read Attachment Mama from out-of-state, and a few that are even reading now from Canada, Ireland and Australia, I’m sorry you won’t be able to join our Milk Bank celebration — but I think you might appreciate this post anyway because of the interesting information to be gleaned about milk banks in general.

Since choosing the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin (MMBA) as our beneficiary for the Sweet Songs children’s album (due out Mother’s Day – stay tuned for details!), I continue to learn more about milk banking’s life-saving service.  The following information and attached photos come straight from the MMBA rock star communications and development team.

Did you know? (I did not)

It is standard practice for hospital neonatologists to strongly encourage mothers of preemies to breastfeed or express their milk for tube-feeding their very small babies, but fewer than half of mothers of premature infants are able to do so. The Milk Bank provides safe donor human milk to preterm and ill infants in the hospital and to sick babies at home.

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. These babies are more likely to acquire life-threatening infections if fed formula instead of human milk. The most common infection, necrotizing entercolitis, can damage the intestines so severely that many babies who acquire it will die. The remainder face life-long complications. Preemies fed human milk – either their mother’s own or pasteurized donor milk – are largely protected from this devastating condition.

In addition, families that adopt newborn babies can also receive donated breast milk.

Milk Bank milk photoMothers that Donate Milk

Milk bank donors are healthy, conscientious women who care about the health of babies. They are most often nursing their own infants, have an abundant milk supply, and donate their extra milk to the Milk Bank.

For this generous act they receive no payment or compensation, except the satisfaction that comes from knowing they have helped improve the health of a fragile baby.

Want to donate milk?

1. Complete a 10-15 minute phone screening.

2. Complete and return an informational packet.

3. Have a blood test done. (They pay.)

4. When they receive your paperwork and lab results, the Clinical Director calls you with your approval status.

Ready to get started with the screening process?Milk Bank Logo

Austin Mamas, contact Kara White at, 512.494.0800. or toll-free 1.877.813.MILK (6455).  Please tell her your name, phone number, best time to reach you, and your baby’s birth date.

Outside Austin Mamas, check out the Human Milk Banking Association of North America for information on your nearest milk bank.

Other cities currently with milk banks in the U.S.:  San Jose, Calif; Denver, Colo; Indianapolis, Indiana; Coralville, Iowa; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Newtonville, Mass; Raleigh, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Oregon;  and Fort Worth, Texas.

Milk on mamas!

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Pass it On: Urgent Call for Human Milk Donations for Haiti Infants

Special Addition Logo -color(1)I am no longer eligible to donate breast milk now that my youngest is over one year old. In lieu of the current crisis in Haiti and urgent need there for donated human milk, I’m doubly saddened to not be able to do this. I’m posting the information here to anyone reading Attachment Mama with a baby under one year to please consider donating milk and/or passing this along to  your Mama friends, posting on your Facebook pages, updating on Twitter, etc.

This announcement is copied from my Special Addition newsletter. They are great Austin supporters of breastfeeding and Milk Banks — they sell and rent breast pumps.

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) are jointly issuing an urgent call for human milk donations for premature infants in Haiti, as well as sick and premature infants in the United States.

This week the first shipment of human milk from mothers in the United States will be shipped to the U.S. Navy Ship Comfort stationed outside Haiti. Comfort is currently set up with a neonatal intensive care unit and medical personnel to provide urgent care to victims of the earthquake. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant stationed at the U.S. Navy base in Bethesda, MD is assisting with providing breast pump equipment and supplies to the Comfort. Dr. Erika Beard-Irvine, pediatric neonatologist, is on board the Comfort to coordinate distribution of the milk to infants in need. HMBANA, USBC, ILCA/USLCA, and LLL are responding to requests to provide milk for both premature infants and at-risk mothers who have recently delivered babies on board the U.S.N.S. Comfort, but an urgent need exists for additional donations.

At the current time, the infrastructure to deliver human milk on land to Haiti infants has not yet been established. As soon as that infrastructure is in place, additional donations will be provided to older infants.

Mothers who are willing to donate human milk should contact their regional Mothers’™ Milk Bank of HMBANA. A list of regional milk banks is available at the HMBANA website.

Currently milk banks are already low on donor milk. New milk donations will be used for both Haiti victims as well as to replenish donor supplies to continue to serve sick and premature infants in the U.S. Donor milk provides unique protection for fragile preterm infants. Financial donations are also strongly encouraged to allow HMBANA, a nonprofit organization, to continue serving infants in need.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Emergency Nutrition Network, and medical professionals all recommend that breastfeeding and human milk be used for infants in disasters or emergencies. Human milk is life-saving due to its disease prevention properties. It is safe, clean, and does not depend on water which is often unavailable or contaminated in an emergency. Relief workers, health care providers, and other volunteers are urged to provide support for breastfeeding mothers to enable them to continue breastfeeding, and to assist pregnant and postpartum women in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

For more information, contact HMBANA at 408-998-4550 or . Additional information can be provided from the United States Breastfeeding Committee at 202-367-1132, ILCA/USLCA at 1-800-452-2478, or La Leche League at 847-519-7730.

You may contact the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin by calling or emailing:

900 East 30th Street
Austin, TX 78705-3378
(512) 494-0800

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Getting to Know the Milk Bank

Milk DonationsI fell in love with one teeny phrase in the book, The Red Tent when I read it years ago.  “Good like milk and rain.”  I don’t remember the complete context today of Anita Diamant’s words other than she was describing the richly nourishing and nurturing quality of something.  I loved the line so much that I wrapped it into the chorus of a song I wrote just prior to moving to Austin six years ago to nurture my fear of change:

Don’t worry darlin. It’s all good like rain. It’s all good.  So good like milk and rain.

Now the sweet goodness of mother’s milk is fast becoming a center point of my life  as I work to stay the course on making an album of songs for the Milk Bank while I  keep on keepin’ on nursing my littlest around the clock.

My Milk & Rain song was running through my head as I drove through the rain yesterday to go visit the Mother’s Milk Bank of Austin to learn more about what they do and talk to them about this little music for milk project I’ve got brewing that is no longer so little.  I was delighted to meet Executive Director, Rachel Muir and her Development Director, Robin Bradford.  Such nice women doing such valuable and important work for our community.

DSC_0024I got the full tour and saw where milk is pasteurized, packaged, nutritionally assessed, stored and shipped to hospitals.  Milk is divided up by its caloric content so that the highest calorie milk can be sent to in-patient babies with the greatest need.  So cool! (more…)

Related Posts with Thumbnails

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