Depot Contributors at Lutheran Children’s Hospital Tops in the State for Human Milk Donations
More than 27,000 ounces collected during 2014
Fort Wayne, Ind. (Friday, Jan. 16, 2015) — Through the Milk Depot at Lutheran Children’s Hospital, a team of lactation consultants collected and supplied The Milk Bank, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing safe mothers’ milk for fragile infants, with more than 27,000 ounces of human milk in 2014. That was more milk than any other depot in Indiana provided, according to The Milk Bank, founded in the Hoosier State in 2005.
Media are invited to meet Michelle Harlan, the Milk Depot’s primary contributor in 2014, and lactation team members from LCH Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. in the main lobby of Lutheran Hospital.
In 2008, LCH teamed with The Milk Bank to open Indiana’s first hospital-based Milk Depot, encouraging mothers with excess milk to bring it to the hospital for others in need. Carefully screened donors deliver their extra human milk to Fort Wayne’s only Milk Depot, where it is stored until it is transported to The Milk Bank in Indianapolis. After the milk is pasteurized and frozen, it is distributed back out to ill or premature infants throughout the U.S.
LCH was one of 11 satellite locations collecting human milk for The Milk Bank when it opened its own Milk Depot six years ago. Currently, there are 20 Milk Depot locations throughout Indiana, and 14 banks in the U.S. with several more in the process of opening. However, The Milk Bank is the state’s only provider of human milk.
“We credit community-minded mothers like Michelle Harlan who donated the greatest amount of human milk last year,” said Holly Romary, RN, lactation consultant, Lutheran Children’s Hospital. “We invite more passionate mothers with an extra supply to consider donating; their generosity really does make a difference. We’ve been proud to help pioneer this effort locally to benefit the littlest patients.”
Research supports that human milk boosts immune systems and is often prescribed for patients struggling with premature development, malabsorption, feeding intolerance, immunologic deficiencies, congenital abnormalities and postoperative nutritional needs.
Those interested in donating milk should be healthy women who delivered an infant within the past two years. Candidates must be willing to complete a medical history form and blood test. Donors are not paid for their milk. Mothers are encouraged to call Lutheran’s lactation team at (260) 435-7330, or visit TheMilkBank.org, for more information.
The Milk Bank, Inc., is a community-based, community-supported, not-for-profit organization that helps improve health outcomes for premature and sick infants, foster better health for children. The Milk Bank decreases healthcare expenditures by receiving, pasteurizing, freezing and distributing human pasteurized human donor milk throughout the U.S. The Milk Bank is a proud member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.