Got Milk? 3rd Breast Milk Depot in the State Opens Next Week
NORTH CONWAY — Memorial Hospital in North Conway is the third breast milk depot to open in the state.
Milk depots are set up to collect donations from moms who are lucky enought to have an excess of breast milk and the milk is then sent to a milk bank. The mothers must be prescreened, which includes a health history, physician approval, and a blood test.
Starting Dec. 14 pre-screened moms will be able to drop their excess breast milk off at Memorial Hospital's milk depot. From there the milk is transferred to the Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast in Massachusetts where the milk will be screened, pasteurized and tested.
The milk is then dispersed to several hospitals in the Northeast including 11 hospitals in New Hampshire to be used primarily for premature or sick infants whose mothers aren't producing enough milk.
With the new Memorial Hospital location, MMBNE will now have 17 depots in seven states throughout the Northeast; the other two New Hampshire locations are in Keene and Bedford.
The leader of Memorial’s Breastfeeding Support Group, Michelle Meader said there is a lot of support in the region.
“Our mothers in the Mount Washington Valley recognize how important breast milk is to ALL babies. Sometimes a mom can not provide breast milk or cannot provide enough breast milk to her baby. When this happens, the best alternative is another mom’s milk. This is made possible by a mom who is donating milk to a milk bank and the milk bank who then makes it accessible to the mother. This is actively saving the lives of premature babies as it drastically reduces necrotizing enterocolitis, a bacterial infection in the intestine of infants.”
Currently 11 New Hampshire hospitals offer donor milk: Catholic Medical Center, Cheshire Medical Center, Concord Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Elliot Hospital, Exeter Hospital, Lakes Region General Hospital, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital, and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.
The grand opening is scheduled for Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at the Main Street Professional Building on Route 16 in North Conway. The celebration will include a ribbon-cutting, refreshments and information for nursing mothers on how they can be donors will be on hand.
Mothers who have excess milk and want to donate, can review the guidelines on the milk bank website.