Milk Bank doors are women who produce milk in excess of their own babies’ needs and who complete a specials creening process. Babies who receive the breastmilk may be premature or have severe illnesses and need human milk to thrive.
Nationwide, the medical need for donor human milk far surpasses the supply and continues to increase. While the national premature birth rate is 7.6%, among uninsured women in Texas the preterm birth rate is 32%! Increasing preterm birth rates mean an increased need for donor milk in the neonatal intensive care units. Preterm infants are most in need of human milk, yet their moms are the least likely to be able to provide what they need in the earliest days of life. Mothers who have surplus milk can help fill this need and give fragile infants a better chance to grow and thrive.
For example, Babies born prematurely are at risk of eye damage and, in severe cases, permanent blindness. Treatments can help. And a recent study shows human milk looks helps, too.
Human milk is best for your baby. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, human milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illness. This protection is unmatched by any formula.
Why Donate Breastmilk
While a mother’s own milk is best for her baby, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that if, after consultation with a healthcare provider, one decides to feed her baby with human milk from another source, she should only use milk from a source that has screened its milk donors and taken other precautions to ensure the safety of its milk.
According to the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), “In situations where a mother’s own milk is not available to meet her baby’s needs, pasteurized donor human milk is the ideal replacement. The use of donor human milk has saved infant lives and positively impacted the health outcomes of countless premature and sick infants through therapy and prevention of disease.”
Mothers Milk Bank
In Austin, the Mothers Milk Bank provides donation services. Lifesaving donated breastmilk goes to babies in Texas and all over the United States, providing them with a safe alternative when mom’s own milk is not available. Milk goes to NICUs in hospitals all over the country for premature or ill babies. Milk is given out to families who have already been discharged, but still need some donor milk until the mothers’ own milk comes in.
Your milk will be prescribed to preterm and critically ill babies. To provide the safest milk possible, we require all donor moms to complete a blood test to screen for harmful viruses. The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin covers the cost of these tests.