Donor drive seeking breast milk
The Milk Bank and Lutheran Children’s Hospital will host northeast Indiana’s first-ever breast milk donation drive Monday at Lutheran Children’s Hospital.
“Our need for human milk is critical; our shelves are nearly empty and the demand for donations continues,” Leah Shattuck, The Milk Bank’s social media and public awareness coordinator, said in a news release.
The event is an opportunity for moms to donate excess breast milk they may have stored in their freezers at home, Tami Meyer, a registered nurse and international board certified lactation consultant at Lutheran Children’s Hospital, said. The hospital frequently accepts donated milk, Meyer said.
Breast milk is important for premature and ill babies housed in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU.
“Some moms can’t produce breast milk and for NICU babies, it’s really important,” Meyer said. “Babies digest breast milk easier (than formula) and usually, babies who get breast milk can get out of the hospital sooner.”
The milk drive is 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the third-floor conference room at Lutheran Children’s Hospital, 7950 W. Jefferson Blvd. Participants will be able to speak with lactation consultants and experts, other milk donors and families who have benefited from services The Milk Bank provides.
Meyer said the event is a one-stop shop for moms who want to donate their extra milk.
According to its website, the Indianapolis organization “promotes community health by expanding the safe use of human milk for all babies, especially premature and ill infants.”
The Milk Bank was founded in 2005 as the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank. The Milk Bank receives human milk from screened donors.
Ideal candidates for milk donors are non-smoking women in good general health who take limited to no medications or herbal supplements. Donors participating Monday will be asked to fill out a medical history form and complete a blood draw to determine the best use for the donated milk.
For more information on donor eligibility, call 877-829-7470 or visit www.themilkbank.org/donate-milk. The Milk Bank at Lutheran Children’s Hospital can be reached at 260-435-7330.