Medical experts from all specialties agree: breast milk is best for babies. Now there is a new way for local women to donate their breast milk to babies who need it. The Nebraska Medical Center is now a drop-off site for the Iowa Milk Bank.
"A lot of new mothers who are struggling with supply issues say, 'What are my options?'" said Lindsey Abbott, lactation consultant at The Nebraska Medical Center. "We also routinely get questions from women who want to donate their milk. Now we have a way to help!"
The Iowa Milk Bank acts as a distribution hub, supplying donated milk to hospitals and healthcare providers around the country. The medical center is one of 17 hospitals partnering with the milk bank. It's the second Omaha hospital to join.
The system is regulated by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), which oversees milk donation programs in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Women wishing to donate their milk at The Nebraska Medical Center must first contact the Iowa Milk Bank. They must also have a blood test before they can donate milk. After they pass, they can simply drop their milk off at the lactation office in University Tower where their milk will be stored in a special freezer. The milk bank then pasteurizes the milk and uses dry ice to keep it cold during transportation.
"When it comes to nutrition, the World Health Organization has four rankings," explained Ashlie Bergren, lactation consultant at the medical center. "First, is breast feeding with baby and mother. Second is pumped breast milk from mom, and third is any breast milk. Fourth is baby formula. So any breast milk is better than none."
For more information about becoming a breast milk donor, women can call 1-877-891-5347 or email email@example.com.