Southeast Health breast milk depot in need of donations

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 12:39 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - After major supply chain issues at baby formula plants many mothers were forced to resort to breast feeding, but it’s not always an easy task for everyone.

“Not every woman is able to breast feed,” Wendy Reynolds, RNC/NIC NICU lead supervisor at Southeast Health, said.

This is where donations for the Mother’s Milk Bank of Alabama comes in to help in the state’s hospitals.

The Mother’s Milk Bank of Alabama is a non-profit working to provide nourishment to babies that are in need, ill or pre-mature.

Southeast Health Medical Center is a Wiregrass drop off location that needs donations.

The hospital received several donations when the formula shortage first began.

“It was in the first few weeks, and now that has tapered off,” Marie Johnson, RN International board-certified lactation consultant at Southeast Health, said. “We would love to have more donations for our moms.”

The need for donations is great, once again.

“It’s never wasted though,” Reynolds said. “There’s always a shortage and there’s always a need.”

This breast milk is used in many ways in the hospitals NICU.

“We provide that as an option for our full-term babies that are out in the newborn nursery, for moms that want to exclusively breast feed, but are having trouble with their supply,” Reynolds said. “Then we’re able to provide that donor milk.”

It is also used for pre-mature babies at Southeast Health Medical Center, helping mothers with the transition.

“To help bridge the gap for when our NICU moms are working to build up their supply,” Reynolds said. “We have donor milk to be able to feed their babies.”

Johnson said the breast milk also acts as a good prevention tool for diseases in infants, like NEC.

“That is one of the main reasons we use it, and NEC is what’s called Necrotize and Enterocolitis, and it’s basically where the colon can actually die and perforated, and breast milk protects the colon from that because of the white blood cells in the breast milk,” Johnson said.

Mothers who would like to donate can simply contact the Mother’s Milk Bank of Alabama.

Labs will then be drawn and once they are cleared for infectious diseases and certain medications, they will be assigned a number.

“When they are cleared, they will bring the breast milk to us, and we will take care of shipping,” Johnson said.

This process can take a couple of weeks. After donating, the milk is sent to Birmingham to be pasteurized and the milk is then purchased by Southeast Health and brought right back here to the Wiregrass.

Click here to contact the Mother’s Milk Bank of Alabama. LINK: https://www.mmbal.org/contact

Potential donors can also contact the Southeast Health Lactation Office: (334)673-4141

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