Mississippi’s First Milk Depot and Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas Seek Additional Donors to Increase Supply of Donor Breastmilk

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Mississippi’s Memorial Hospital in Gulfport ready to accept additional breastmilk donations from healthy, lactating mothers who want to help feed premature, medically fragile infants.

Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas ships live-saving donor human milk to hospital NICUs

Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Miss., and the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas today announced its plans to increase the supply of donor human milk in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) in hospitals in Gulfport and across the state by offering free screenings to healthy, breastfeeding women who want to become breastmilk donors. Donor milk is shipped to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas in Fort Worth for pasteurization and processing. Then the Milk Bank fills physician prescriptions for donor human milk to feed premature and medically fragile babies who need the “liquid gold” to thrive.

Since October 2013, Gulfport Memorial Hospital’s Milk Depot has collected more than 6,000 ounces of donor human milk (aka breastmilk) from women in Long Beach, Ocean Springs, Pass Christian, and Biloxi, Mississippi. Recognized for its accomplishments in improving infant care, its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit earned a certificate from industry leader Medela for “Human Milk Consumption Best Practices.”

The high rate of premature births in Mississippi* and low breastfeeding rates means that more babies will need donor human milk in 2014. “Mississippi has a vital need for donor human milk,” said Stephanie Gable, RN, IBCLC. “We encourage more healthy breastfeeding moms to be screened and encourage all of the hospitals in Mississippi to consider prescribing donor human milk to their NICU patients.”

In addition to operating the Milk Depot in Gulfport, Mississippi, the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas also mentors the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Mississippi, a developing Milk Bank located in Flowood, near Jackson, Miss. When fully operational, it will be Mississippi’s first and only medically-supported and professionally staffed milk bank that supports premature and special needs infants with the highest quality nutrition for survival and recovery.

“More donor moms will be needed as more hospitals begin to prescribe donor human milk as the preferred nutrition for infants staying a few days or up to a few months in hospital NICUs,” said Amy Vickers, Executive Director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. “The generosity of mothers who donate their excess breastmilk lets us feed the most fragile babies, primarily premature infants and those with life-threatening conditions or allergies, safely and compassionately.”

To donate be screened as a milk donor and donate milk, lactating moms are asked to email moms(at)texasmilkbank(dot)org or call the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas toll-free 1.866.810.0071.
Once the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Mississippi is fully operational, oversight of the Gulfport Milk Depot, located inside Memorial Hospital, will be transferred from the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas to Mothers’ Milk Bank of Mississippi.

Nonprofit milk banks including the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas ensure donor human milk is safe and available to the infants who need it most. The pasteurized breast milk dispensed is specifically processed to meet the specific needs of fragile and sick babies, serving babies with the greatest medical needs, regardless of family’s ability to pay.

The Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas currently has 157 women donating their surplus breastmilk, but estimates it needs 805 donor mothers to meet this year’s projected demand from hospital NICUs for the life-saving nutrition. Therefore, another 648 or more volunteer milk donors are needed to meet the demand and fill all orders received from neonatologists. To learn more about milk banking or become a milk donor, please visit http://www.texasmilkbank.org/.

*Source: March of Dimes’ Prematurity Report Card, http://www.marchofdimes.com/mission/prematurity-reportcard.aspx

About the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas
The Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 to provide premature and critically ill infants with donor human milk when their own mother's milk is not available. To donate breastmilk, please email moms(at)texasmilkbank(dot)org or call 817.810.0071 or toll-free 1.866.810.0071. Learn more about milk banking at http://www.texasmilkbank.org.

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Anne Lasseigne Tiedt, APR
Momentum Public Relations
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