Posted By: Camila Orti
It's a perfect way to kick off World Breastfeeding Week.
St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center announces the grand opening of Lincoln's first breast milk depot, a collection site for donated breast milk.
For pre-term babies, donor breast milk is the best way to grow if mom can't provide enough herself.
Kim Moore, President of St. Elizabeth's, says the need for donor milk is underestimated, and hopes the new depot will make it easier for mothers to donate.
"Over the last six years, there have been several times when we've been unable to give our babies in the NIC-U [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] the donor breast milk that they needed because of a national shortage," Moore said.
These babies rely on donors because mothers of prematurely born babies sometimes haven't had enough time to develop enough of their own milk.
Mother Selena Hiatt says this is very frustrating.
Her daughter Kylie was born 12 weeks early, and relied on donor milk for the first eight weeks of her life.
"I felt like I was letting her down, being the mother, so having other mothers that could help, it was great," Hiatt said. "It was a wonderful opportunity for us, and as you can see she's doing good so far."
Nurses say the nutritional benefits of breast milk are unmatched for pre–term babies that need to grow quickly.
"We do see that our infants do benefit greatly on the donor breast milk versus other forms of nutrition such as formula," Interim Director of Child Services, Delana Ramirez, said.
The St. Elizabeth's Mother's Milk Depot will serve as a collection site; the donations will then be shipped to the Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa for processing.
Becoming a donor is a safe process done free of charge at the medical center. Once you've been approved, you can drop off milk donations at St. Elizabeth's.