Milk Bank opens in Portsmouth
Being a mother is like being a superhero. This has become even truer for the mothers in New Hapmshire as Portsmouth Regional Hospital opened its human milk depot.
In partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast, the hospital has set up a community location where screened milk donors can drop off their extra milk, which is then dispensed primarily to premature and sick babies who can’t be breast fed by their own mothers for various reasons.
Nora Fortin, director of the Maternal, Child, and Women’s Health Unit at Portsmouth Regional Hospital emphasized the exclusivity of breastfeeding,” and that feeding babies formula as a replacement “changes a baby’s gut” and gets rid of the good bacteria. Just like donating blood, donating milk can change lives for the better.
Not only does it help fragile babies get the right nutrients they need, donating milk can also in a way, save bereaved mothers as most of them continue to produce milk even after losing their little ones.
Cynthia Cohen, director of client relations for Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast, called it a “healing experience” for them.
“Today, we are doubling the strength of that partnership. This is a great way for moms in the community with extra milk to help save babies’ lives. We are really not exaggerating,” Cohen said in a report from Bangor Daily News.
Just like with blood donation, all prospective donors go through the same kind of screening process, including health history, physician approval and a blood test. Milk from mothers who pass the screening is also pasteurized and tested by an independent lab to ensure safety before being dispensed to hospitals or families.