February 8, 2011— University of Utah Health Care has opened Utah’s first Mothers’ Milk donation site at the Redwood Health Center, South Salt Lake City. The new facility will make it less expensive and easier than ever for women to donate breast milk to infants in need.
Currently, local mothers interested in donating milk must find a lab to screen their blood, store the milk in their own freezers, purchase dry ice, and ship their supply to a milk bank outside of Utah. The new Mothers’ Milk donation site will reduce the barriers and personal costs of donation. Potential donors will be pre-screened and can drop off their collected milk at the Redwood Health Center. The center will then ship the donated milk to the Mothers’ Milk Bank in Denver for processing and distribution.
The World Health Organization recommends feeding infants human milk from a donor mother if the child’s own mother’s milk is not available. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America sets the standards for milk banking which include health screening of donors and pasteurization of donated milk before it is distributed to babies. The Mothers’ Milk Bank in Denver is the nearest source for donor milk for Utah babies.
A generous grant from the Herbert I. and Elsa B. Michael Foundation has supported the initial costs of the Mothers’ Milk donation site, and the University of Utah’s Redwood Health Center is providing space and staff support.
Recently, Regina Benjamin, M.D., Surgeon General of the United States, issued a Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding (http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/breastfeeding/calltoactiontosupportbreastfeeding.pdf) which includes: “Action 12. Identify and address obstacles to greater availability of safe banked donor milk for fragile infants.”
Potential donors should call The Mothers’ Milk Bank in Denver at 877-458-5503 to begin the screening process. For more information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/redwood or email firstname.lastname@example.org.