Donor Human Milk Program
Mother’s milk provides the best nutrition possible for newborns; it protects against infections and can reduce the risk of health problems like diabetes, obesity and asthma later in life. Furthermore, sick and premature babies have better outcomes when fed breast milk. Human milk has been proven to significant health benefits, especially protection against necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious illness in which the small intestine becomes inflamed and starts to decay. The condition is often fatal.
Unfortunately, there are many reasons why some mothers of premature babies are unable to breastfeed. Most have undergone a cesarean section and are weak. Others may be battling a chronic infection, like hepatitis, or may have undergone a masectomy.
|Breast milk is so critical to a premature baby's survival that Woman's now uses human donor milk when mothers are unable to breastfeed.|
For this reason, Woman’s began the Donor Human Milk Program in late 2011 to accept human donor milk from several licensed human milk banks across the country.
The program’s initial goal is to provide human milk for all infants who weigh less than approximately two pounds for the first month of life. Only 25 to 30 percent of babies in the Newborn and Infant Intensive Care Unit are discharged on their mother’s human milk, so this program will ensure that the remaining 70 to 75 percent of these infants get the nutrition they need to thrive.
Our donor milk program has been officially established, thanks to the generous donations made through our Employee Giving Campaign. We can now provide nutrient-rich breast milk to infant patients in need. Make your financial donation now to support this program and help improve the health of infants in our community.
How to Support Human Breast Milk Donation at Woman’s
The need for human breast milk is ongoing as Woman’s NICU cares for more than 1,000 critically ill babies every year. Many times mothers cannot donate their own breast milk due to conditions surrounding their baby’s premature birth, so the alternative is human milk donations. But human milk is expensive, ranging from $13 to $15 per three ounces, and the cost is currently not covered by either insurance or Medicaid. You can help us support these families in need by donating to Woman’s Annual Giving fund.
Louisiana does not have a milk bank that is certified by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA); therefore, we use the closest milk bank located in Austin, Texas. The Mother’s Milk Bank Austin accepts breast milk donations from around the region, so Louisiana women CAN donate their breast milk. It’s as simple as a screening and routine blood test. Learn more about how you can donate lifesaving mommy milk.