We’re thrilled to share that Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast was recently featured in The Boston Globe. Written by Joan Wickersham, we hope you’ll read and consider sharing Donated Breast Milk, An Intimate & Selfless Gift . . .
Donated breast milk, an intimate and selfless gift . . .
A baby is born 12 weeks early. He is terrifyingly small and vulnerable and will need to stay in the hospital for a while, being monitored and cared for. Breast milk is both nourishment and medicine for this child, but his mother’s milk supply has not had a chance to develop yet. That’s where donated breast milk, from a milk bank, comes in.
Milk banks aren’t a new thing. The first one was started in 1909 in Vienna, and just a year later the first one in the United States began at the Boston Floating Hospital. But over the past three or four decades, as understanding of the specific benefits of breast milk for fragile infants has increased, the number of milk banks has grown significantly. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America reports that there are currently 32 accredited nonprofit milk banks in the United States and Canada.
Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast, located in Newton, is one of the largest. Donors send frozen milk, which is stored, pooled, and then pasteurized —heated at a high temperature to kill off any bacteria. (This process slightly reduces some of the milk’s proteins, but most of the beneficial characteristics remain.) The milk is put into small bottles and sent out, the vast majority of it to hospitals . . .
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