Grand Opening of First Connecticut Depot

Acelleron Medical Products announces grand opening of first Connecticut human milk depot for Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast

CONTACT: Jan Ferraro jferraro@acelleron.com

Acelleron Medical Products announces the opening of the first Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast human milk depot in Connecticut, located at Acelleron Medical Products. The grand opening will take place on February 25, 2016 from 5pm – 7pm at 2488 Boston Post Road, Suite 20A, Guilford, CT. Families, prospective donors, healthcare providers, and community members are welcome to attend the family-friendly grand opening, which will include a ribbon-cutting and light refreshments.

A milk bank collects milk from mothers who have more milk than their babies need, then screens, pasteurizes, and tests the milk, and dispenses it primarily to premature and sick babies whose mothers do not have enough milk for them. The new milk depot, a donor milk collection site, is located at 2488 Boston Post Road, Guilford.  Mothers from Connecticut will now be able to drop off their milk conveniently at the depot for shipment to the Milk Bank.  “We encourage mothers who have milk to share to consider donating it. The presence of a milk depot in Connecticut will increase awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and donating milk. Donor mothers find the experience of donating very special, and we hope that the depot at Acelleron will provide an opportunity for mothers to network with one another about this unique, lifesaving gift,” commented Naomi Bar-Yam, Ph.D., Executive Director of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE).

North Branford mother Amy Farotti, the first donor at this new depot, shared her excitement about this new community resource: “As a mom of 2 kids and knowing how important breast milk is, I’m excited there is an opportunity for me to donate my breast milk in Connecticut.  Donating my milk will help so many babies, especially NICU babies who need all the help they can get.  Having a depot close by means it will be very convenient for me to donate and hopefully make other Connecticut moms aware of how they can also donate their breast milk to help other babies.”

Milk donor screening, modeled after blood donor screening, includes health history, physician approval, and blood test. These are some of the many measures taken to assure the safety of milk for the fragile premature and sick babies served by MMBNE and the hospitals who use the milk.  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.

Donor milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants. It is especially protective against a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which affects one in ten of the smallest preterm infants. Human milk is estimated to lower the risk of this condition by 79%. Using donor milk when a supplement is needed lowers hospital costs by reducing costs for care and shortening hospital stays. “Our goal is always to have mothers nurse their own babies, but sometimes it is necessary to provide a supplement while the mother’s milk comes in,” commented Dr. Robert M. Insoft, medical director of MMBNE.

Donor milk is rapidly becoming the standard supplement to mothers’ milk for preterm infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). This has led to greater demand for safe pasteurized donor human milk from nonprofit milk banks like MMBNE that are certified by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).  MMBNE has been screening donors, pasteurizing milk and dispensing to over 600 hospitals and to families throughout the Northeastern United States since 2011.

In Connecticut, hospitals that use MMBNE donor milk include Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hospital of Central Connecticut, Manchester Memorial Hospital, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and Yale New Haven Medical Center.

This is the second milk depot for Acelleron Medical Products.  The first opened at Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness in North Andover, MA, in April 2015.  That depot has generated great enthusiasm in the community, and local mothers have donated milk regularly at the site.  Jan Ferraro, Director of Education for Connecticut is also very excited about the depot, “We work so closely with both the breastfeeding community and NICU’s that we are a perfect fit to connect the two!  Many moms get their breast pumps from Acelleron and utilize our CLC’s to support them in their breast feeding journey.  The question of donating and how to do it comes up often and we are both pleased and honored to facilitate the pairing.”

 

Mothers who wish to donate milk can review guidelines on the Milk Bank website, www.milkbankne.org/donate, then contact a Donor Intake Coordinator for screening at 617-527-6263 x3 or donate@milkbankne.org.  Approved donors can then drop off milk at the new depot by emailing Jan at jferraro@acelleron.com or calling 203 804-5974 to set up a drop-off time.