Van Buren County Health Team and Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas Welcomes Families to “Milk and Cookies” Open House to Celebrate New Human Milk Depot on June 17

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WIC clinic in Clinton ready to accept breastmilk donations from healthy, lactating mothers who want to help feed premature, medically fragile infants.

premature baby; preemie

Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas partners with public clinics and private hospitals to collect donor human milk, which is pasteurized and distributed to babies in neonatal intensive care.

Celebrating the opening of Arkansas’ second human milk “depot,” Van Buren County breastfeeding advocates, physicians and families will gather on Tue., June 17, 2014 at 2 p.m. at Van Buren County Health Unit at 526 Quality Drive in Clinton for a free, open house and “milk and cookies” toast. Together they will raise awareness of the growing need for breastfeeding women to become milk donors to help feed premature and medically fragile babies.

Partnering with the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, the Van Buren County Breastfeeding Resource Center is the state’s newest human milk “depot,” a location that accepts frozen breastmilk donations from healthy, lactating women whose infants are less than a year old. It is the first depot approved by the Arkansas Department of Health and the second milk depot in Arkansas, after Baptist Health. Working with the state’s WIC program, the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas screens women to become milk donors and receive the depot’s donations. After pasteurizing the donor milk, the Mothers’ Milk dispenses it to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in hospitals in Arkansas and across the region.

During the Open House, the Van Buren clinic staff will answer questions about breastfeeding and infant nutrition and explain how women can become milk donors. Donors undergo a simple phone screening and free blood test.

Arkansas breastfeeding rates are among the lowest in the United States, with 57.7 percent of new mothers initiating breastfeeding after birth. The breastfeeding rate drops to 24 percent after six months. Because breastfeeding and breastmilk are proven to boost infant immunity and provide other health benefits, Van Buren’s Breastfeeding Resource Center and the state’s WIC program operate a Breastfeeding Helpline, Peer Counselor Program, educational programs and a breast pump loaner program.

“Becoming a milk depot for Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas is another way we can share the benefits of breastfeeding with more families,” says Teresa Gates, RN, IBCLC, and WIC breastfeeding peer counselor coordinator. “When women invest their effort in breastfeeding successfully, they make a better life for their own infants and others.”

In addition to operating the Milk Depot in Clinton, the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas also receive milk donations from Baptist Health in Little Rock.

“We are grateful to the entire Clinton community and its breastfeeding advocates and counselors for their enthusiastic support of nonprofit milk banks such as Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas,” said Amy Vickers, executive director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. “With support from the Van Buren Health Unit, we are connecting generous women with breastmilk to share with the families who need it the most. They are helping to meet the growing demand from hospitals for donor human milk for premature and medically fragile infants.”

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.

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 receives milk from 252 women who donate their surplus breastmilk, but it estimates it needs 805 donor mothers to meet this year’s projected demand from hospital NICUs for the life-saving nutrition. Therefore, nearly 600 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

*Source: March of Dimes’ Prematurity Report Card,

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

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Laura Bond Williams
Momentum Public Relations
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Teresa Gates, BSN, RN, IBCLC
Van Buren County Health Unit
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