ST. GEORGE – Breast milk donations at Dixie Regional Medical Center’s milk depot are down and the hospital is seeking donations from mothers who might have more milk than their babies can consume.
For optimal health benefits, the World Health Organization recommends breast milk as the best food for the first six months of a baby’s life, according to a press statement by Dixie Regional.
While breast milk is best, when babies are born prematurely, it can take time for a mother’s milk to come in, Kerry Ann Humphrey, a lactation specialist at Dixie Regional Medical Center, said in the statement.
“Sadly, at a time when her preemie needs mother’s milk most, she may not be able to produce it,” Humphrey said. “That’s why Dixie Regional and other medical centers across the country provide milk depot services.”
Dixie Regional began services as a milk depot about 18 months ago, Intermountain Healthcare Communications Director Terri Draper said, adding that the best way to insure that their preemies are getting the milk they need is to be a milk depot and collect those donations.
“We feel very strongly that breast milk is best for these preemies,” Draper said.
Donations collected at Dixie Regional are sent to Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation, a nonprofit mother’s milk bank in Denver, Colorado where the milk is pasteurized and sent out to hospitals throughout the Intermountain west.
While the milk cannot be delivered to the babies immediately because it must first undergo a pasteurization process, Draper said, by using the donation depot at Dixie Regional, it assures the hospital a place at the top of the list at the milk bank in Denver.
The hospital has felt the breast milk shortage over the past couple months, Draper said, and they are encouraging any mothers who can, to donate.
“Currently donations are down in our region and that’s not good,” Humphrey said. “We really encourage any local mothers who might have more milk than their babies can consume to donate.”
- For more information or to donate breast milk, please call 435-688-5440
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