Fragile newborns need the best possible nutrition to grow and develop into healthy infants. A mother’s breast milk is best, but many times critically ill and premature babies can’t breastfeed, and their mothers are frequently unable to pump enough milk for them.
Breast milk is a lifesaving medicine for these babies. It contains antibodies that protect preemies, as well as full-term infants, against disease, illness and intestinal infections.
Fortunately, the WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank, located at WakeMed Cary Hospital, provides safe, pasteurized donor milk to babies in hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Units in North Carolina and all along the east coast – breast milk donated by caring and concerned women.
WakeMed’s Milk Bank is completely nonprofit and only charges a processing fee to cover the cost of screening, testing, processing, storage, etc. for breast milk provided to hospital NICUs.
At this time, the breast milk is only available for babies in hospitals. Nonprofit milk banks rely on the generosity of women who take the time and effort it requires to donate their milk and help infants during their most vulnerable phase of life.
“Supply is in demand, and many times women don’t realize they’d be a great donor, or they think it will be complicated,” said Montana Wagner-Gillespie, manager of WakeMed Mother’s Milk Bank. “We know women are juggling a lot so we want to make it super convenient to donate and help save other babies’ lives.”
Wagner-Gillespie said many women have more breast milk stored in their freezer than they need.
To help make things super convenient and hopefully increase milk bank donations, WakeMed opened North Carolina’s first 24/7 breast milk depot in August at WakeMed North Hospital with easy, pull-up and drop-off service for approved donors.
“They simply pull up and call us, and someone will come down to get it – there is no need for them to leave their car, and that means a lot to a busy mother, especially if she has a baby with her.”
Learn More About the WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank
To learn more about how the breast milk is processed and gently pasteurized after it is donated, visit our website here.