FLORENCE, Ky. -- Kentucky opened its third breast milk deposit site Thursday to continue its mission to help premature and sick babies with the nutrition they need to survive.
Two nonprofit organizations, Indiana Mother’s Milk Bank (IMMB) and Motherhood Express Breastfeeding Support Center, launched the new Florence milk depot location to provide babies in need with milk throughout Kentucky and the Midwest.
Human milk is the only substance that is ideal food for premature and sick infants, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“Human milk banks, especially those associated with Human Milk Banking of North America, have the priority of serving premature and sick babies in neonatal intensive care units,” said Carissa Hawkins, Communications Coordinator for IMMB. “So our mission is really to save lives by providing those babies with what can easily be considered medicine through human milk.”
Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank is a community-supported organization that has been running since 2005 and helps to provide breast milk to neonatal/newborn intensive care units.
IMMB is the only human milk bank in Indiana and one of 12 in North America.
The organization only charges hospitals the cost it takes them to pasteurize the milk and process it.
“If you talk to a hospital they will tell you that the cost of donor milk is negligible compared to the possibility of a newborn being diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis, a common disease found in preemies where cells in the bowel die,” Hawkins said. “Human milk is one of the only substances that can prevent or correct the death of those cells correctly. It’s preventative medicine, so to speak.”
Hawkins says the organization already has more than 2,000 donors in Kentucky alone.
“I want Kentucky to know that we are so thankful for their generosity,” Hawkins said. “We want moms to know we are very thankful for their acts of love and how generous they have been with us.”
Hawkins says there are only a few requirements to donate. You need to be a mother that has given birth in the last 12 months and be generally healthy without tobacco use. She says the organization tests the moms for communicable diseases. You need to donate at least 100 ounces of milk total and the organization tests milk for sterility. For more information on donation, click here: www.immb.org/how-to-donate/
The new center, Motherhood Express, is located at 700 Houston Road, Building 200, Suite 19, in Florence, Ky., 41042. You can call (859) 746-2460 for more information or click here: http://www.immb.org/ .