Childbirth Center opens human milk depot

Springfield Hospital announces the grand opening of a human milk depot in partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. The opening event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10 at the Childbirth Center at Springfield Hospital.

Families, prospective milk donors, healthcare providers, and community members are invited to attend the family-friendly celebration, which will include a ribbon-cutting, refreshments, and information on how nursing mothers can donate milk.

“When a mother’s own milk is not available, pasteurized human donor milk is a wonderful option for new mom’s,” comments Lyndsy McIntyre, director of Springfield Hospital’s Childbirth Center. She adds, “A milk depot makes this option possible and provides families — within our community and beyond —nutritional options for our youngest citizens. We know that the benefits of breastmilk are numerous and long lasting for both women and children, so we are incredibly proud of our partnership with MMBNE and our opportunity to improve access to breastmilk in our local community.”

How milk donations, safety work

A milk depot is a community location where screened milk donors can drop off milk for shipment to a milk bank. The milk bank collects milk from mothers who have more milk than their babies need, then screens, pasteurizes, and tests the milk, and dispenses it primarily to premature and sick babies whose mothers do not have enough milk for them. Mothers from the Springfield area will now be able to conveniently drop off their milk at the Springfield Hospital Childbirth Center depot for shipment to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.

This is the first depot for MMBNE in the state of Vermont. With the opening of this location, MMBNE will now have 20 depots in eight states throughout the northeast.

Milk donor screening, modeled after blood donor screening, includes health history, physician approval, and a blood test. These are some of the many measures taken to ensure the safety of milk for the fragile premature and sick babies served by MMBNE and the hospitals that use the milk. Milk from mothers who pass the screening is also pasteurized and tested by an independent lab to ensure safety before being dispensed to hospitals or families.

Human milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants. It is especially protective against a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis, which affects 1 in 10 of the smallest preterm infants. Human breast milk is estimated to lower the risk of this condition by 79%.

Donor milk is rapidly becoming the standard supplement to mothers’ milk. An increasing number of community hospitals use donor milk when babies need a supplement to their mothers’ own milk.

Mothers who wish to donate milk can review guidelines by clicking here,  then contact a donor intake coordinator for screening at 617-527-6263 x3 or donate@milkbankne.org. Approved donors can then drop off milk at the new depot located at Springfield Hospital’s Childbirth Center, 25 Ridgewood Road, Springfield, VT.

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