Earlier this month I was able to tour the new Mothers’ Milk Bank facilities here in Colorado. This is the central location for all human breastmilk to be processed and distributed to NICU’s throughout North America. It was great to take the tour and see how they are able to save even more babies!
In 2014 Mothers’ Milk Bank processed more than 545,000 ounces of human milk for human babies. That number is impressive and with more donors and more milk coming in, more space was needed. They moved to a new facility in Arvada that can house both the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation as well as the milk processing center. The facility is beautiful, large and super sterile.
As mentioned above, the facility houses both the milk processing center as well as the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. The foundation was established in 2008 to help pediatric patients and their families and offer community support. They provide assistance to families in need like providing milk to NICU babies, matching children with service dogs, diaper drives and much more.
What was the most impressive aspect of the entire tour was how incredibly large and state of the art this facility was compared to their previous home. This new facility is ISO certified and has much more room for processing, pasteurizing and dispensing the milk to babies in need. The infographic below is a great way to look at how Mothers’ Milk Bank works.
Milk comes in from donors and is processed and essentially checked in and put into the computer.
It is then analyzed and checked for various important components (fat content, calories, etc) and is pasteurized and froze for distribution to hospital NICU’s throughout 26 states and 130 hospitals in North America.
So why is donor milk so important? How does this help save a babies life?
1 out of 8 babies are born prematurely and typically have nutritional deficiencies, weakened immune systems and developmental delays.
Human breastmilk is liquid gold and contains well over 100 vitamins, nutrients, antibodies and other immune factors that formula cannot replicate.
Human milk can help combat those nutritional deficiencies & build immune systems.
One ounce of human milk can feed a NICU baby for 1 day.
Save babies! Mothers’ Milk Bank is critical to this process. Many babies who are born prematurely are born to mothers whose own bodies are not prepared to make the milk needed to help their fragile infant(s) survive. Regardless the babies need the most nutritious milk and that is why the milk bank is so critical. It gives the mother time to coerce her body into making the milk and still provides the milk needed for the baby to grow big and healthy. A friend of mine had twins prematurely and utilized the milk bank for her babies who did not have a good outlook ahead of them. Now they are thriving 2 year old miracles and she has said that the donor milk from the milk bank was a big part of that.
In addition, MMB offers breastmilk for purchase to mom’s who are unable to breastfeed but still want to provide breastmilk to their babies. A fantastic example of this is a mother who was a previous donor to the bank but in between babies she got the terrible breast cancer diagnosis. With her second baby she is not able to breastfeed so MMB is providing milk to her new infant…and they are doing this on a scholarship provided from Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. Truly, life changing.