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A mother’s milk overflows with nutrients essential for newborns, but complications prevent some mothers from providing this precious nourishment. Too often, the smallest and sickest babies are the ones who don’t get the nutrition that would nurse them to strength the fastest – human milk.
The lifesaving power of donor milk
When it comes to providing the nutrients newborns need, there’s no replacement for human breast milk. So when mother’s milk isn’t an option, pasteurized donor milk is far superior to formula. Studies show babies receiving donor milk compared to those on formula:
- Were less likely to suffer fatal conditions
- Had much lower rates of infection
- Spent less time in the hospital after birth
- Were more likely to grow and thrive
As a breastfeeding mother, you are able to give tremendous support to your baby’s health. At Saint Luke’s Heart of America Mothers’ Milk Bank, we provide a way for you to share that same care and nourishment to other newborns who desperately need the benefits breast milk offers.
A gift that keeps giving
Breast milk follows the laws of supply and demand. The more milk you pump, the more you produce. You produce far more milk than your baby will ever need – milk that could save the life of a newborn.
How to become a donor
If you would like to donate your extra breast milk to a baby in need, our team will guide you through the steps. To learn more about donor criteria, please call us at (816) 932-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you’re an official donor, you can deliver your milk supply directly to Saint Luke’s Hospital, a designated milk depot or make arrangements for long distance shipping.. It will then be thoroughly inspected and pasteurized to ensure safety.
Other ways to be a lifesaver
Aside from being a milk donor, there are many ways to help our milk bank continue giving newborns the nourishment they need. If interested, you can also:
- Volunteer – help at the milk bank or promote donations through your social media.
- Provide monetary gifts – visit saintlukesgiving.org or call Saint Luke’s Hospital Foundation at 816-932-2252.
Launched in 2010, Saint Luke’s Heart of America Mothers' Milk Bank is the 13th in the United States. We are members of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. The HMBANA promotes and supports safe, ethical, and cost-effective methods of collecting and processing donor milk. Since it began in 1986, HMBANA banks have an unblemished safety record.
4401 Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO 64111
In the absence of the infant’s own mother’s milk, pasteurized donor human milk offers many of the same benefits for the infant, such as optimal nutrition, easy digestibility, and immunologic protection against many organisms and diseases.
Human milk also contains growth factors that can protect immature tissue, promote maturation, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract, and promote healing of tissue damaged by infection.
Reasons for prescribing pasteurized donor human milk include but are not limited to:
- Feeding/formula intolerance
- Post-operative nutrition
- Infectious diseases
- Moms who cannot nurse their babies for medical reasons, but they want their baby to benefit from human milk
- Adoptive parents who want human milk instead of formula for their baby
- Low milk supply
- Babies who are failing to thrive on formula
- Babies and toddlers with life-threatening diseases or conditions
- Children with failing immune systems or catastrophic diseases
- Multiple birth babies, who challenge a mothers milk supply
- Adopted infants, whose moms believe in the value of breast milk but can’t produce their own
In addition, we believe in getting every baby off to a good start in life. If milk is available, we will fill some prescriptions for milk if a baby is newborn and healthy.
Is there a great need for milk donors?