By: Gabrielle Hathaway M.S., IBCLC
There is often discussion (and debate) about milk-sharing, but you may not know that there is a trusted resource for donor human milk right in New England. The Mother’s Milk Bank of New England (MMBNE), located in Newton, MA is the only milk bank in the Northeast and serves many area hospitals. The milk bank operates under the guidelines of HMBANA, and all milk donors are screened and blood tested. If you need breast milk for your baby or have a surplus of milk, please visit MMBNE’s website for more information and like them on Facebook.
Why use donor milk?
Babies who receive donor milk vs. formula have fewer illnesses and receive benefits that even specialized formulas can’t deliver (see this post). Human milk is for human babies!
Is it Safe?
HMBANA milk banks follow strict guidelines that include testing of both mother and mother’s milk, pasteurizing, and re-testing. According to the MMBNE, “In more than 40 years of modern milk banking, there has never been a documented case of an infant harmed by donor milk from an HMBANA milk bank.”
What about Cost?
Milk banks usually pay for screening costs (both for donor and recipient), shipping and handling but charge a processing fee to cover this. Sometimes insurance will pay for donor milk, particularly as more hospitals are beginning to offer donor human milk as there standard of care for infants in the NICU who can’t receive their own mother’s milk. The cost of donor milk is still offset by the health advantages, especially in preemies. The health benefits can mean a shorter hospital stay and a better overall recovery.
Please think about supporting and utilizing this wonderful resource. If you want more information, contact the Mother’s Milk Bank of New England at: 617-527-6263 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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