Can You Help? Breast Milk Donations Needed at Shreveport Hospital
By now, I'm sure you have heard that breast milk is better than formula for newborns across the board. Maybe you have read one of the hundreds of studies that have been conducted on the subject, like this one from the prestigious Johns Hopkins Medicine. Unfortunately, not every baby has the opportunity to breastfeed. For example: Premature babies.
As the father of a preemie, I can tell you that the stress surrounding the first feeding is immense. According to Medela.us, some mothers aren't prepared to breastfeed when their child arrives early. Their bodies haven't started producing it in high enough quantities yet. Unfortunately, this is the time that a premature infant needs the nutrients in breast milk the most. Sometimes, pumping will help a new mother express enough to satisfy their baby - but not always.
To help make sure these brand new Louisiana residents get all of the nutrition they need, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport - St. Mary Medical Center became a "breast milk depot," back in March of last year. The concept is simple: Mothers who are producing too much milk can donate their excess to the bank. That milk is then tested and pasteurized in order to make sure it is safe. Then, it is sent to Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) across the region for premature babies that desperately need it.
That plan hinges on one thing: Donations. Without that precious breast milk, the entire thing falls apart. According to a report from KSLA, officials are asking mothers in the Shreveport-Bossier City area that are currently producing more milk than their baby needs to donate.
If you are able, and would like to make a life-saving donation of breast milk, you can start the process by calling 504-703-6455. A packet of information, including an application, will be mailed to you.