Work is currently underway to establish The Mother's Milk Bank of New England this year in the Boston area. We are thrilled that our region will soon have our own milk bank.
The Pioneer Valley Breastfeeding Task Force is working on establishing a milk collection station in our area, which will allow screened breastmilk donors to deliver their milk to a nearby location. Our volunteers will then transport the milk to Mother's Milk Bank of New England.
If you are interested in helping fundraise or organize this milk collection station, please email us. For more information on this project, and for some interesting facts about breastmilk donation, please see this post.
If you are interested in donating milk to another milk bank, please visit the website of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.
A few facts about breastmilk donation:
- The first milk bank in the country was established in Boston in 1911 at the Children's Floating Hospital.
- There are 10 non-profit milk banks in the U.S. There are more than that in the U.K., despite lower population, and there are hundreds of milk banks in Brazil.
- Many milk banks shut down during the 1980's due to concerns about HIV.
- The incidence and severity of illness among premature babies is decreased when a NICU uses banked breastmilk (as a supplement to a mother's own milk). Babies fed supplemental donor milk also leave NICUs earlier.
- Even after pasteurization, donor milk retains 100% of many important components of breastmilk that aren't present in formula at all. Other components not present in formula survive the pasteurization process and are reduced only in part.
- Pasteurized milk from non-profit milk banks is sold for $3 to $4 per ounce.
- There has been a huge increase in demand for donor milk in recent years, driven in part by mothers who insist on it, and neonatologists who see the benefits for their patients and "never look back."
To learn more about the Mother's Milk Bank of New England, contact Naomi Bar-Yam, Director.