Milk Depot Drop Off Site Opening at Tree of Life!
Join us on October 1, 2016 at 11:00am to celebrate the partnership of Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast and Tree of Life in providing at drop off site for breast milk donations.
Tree of Life Naturopathic & Midwifery Care, LLC announces the grand opening of the second human milk depot in Maine, in partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. The grand opening will take place on Saturday, October 1 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm at 106 Lafayette St, Suite 3A, Yarmouth, ME. Families, prospective milk donors, healthcare providers, and community members are welcome to attend the family-friendly grand opening, which will include a ribbon-cutting, refreshments, and information on how nursing mothers can donate milk.
A milk depot is a community location where screened milk donors can drop off milk for shipment to a milk bank. The milk bank collects milk from mothers who have more milk than their babies need, then screens, pasteurizes, and tests the milk, then dispenses it primarily to premature and sick babies whose mothers do not have enough milk for them. Mothers from the Yarmouth area will now be able to drop off their milk conveniently at the depot for shipment to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE).
“We encourage mothers who have milk to share to consider donating it. The presence of this new milk depot in Yarmouth will increase awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and donating milk. Donor mothers find the experience of donating very special, and we hope that the depot at Tree of Life will provide an opportunity for mothers to network with one another about this unique, lifesaving gift,” commented Naomi Bar-Yam, Ph.D., Executive Director of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.
Tiffany Carter Skillings, CPM, IBCLC who leads the lactation program at Tree of Life is heartened by the community’s response so far. “At Tree of Life, we feel honored to be a part of a community of women who are eager to share the gift of their milk with other babies during a vulnerable and crucial time in their development. The opening of the milk depot at Tree of Life reflects a response to the community’s request for a means of supporting this pathway of milk sharing—and we are pleased to help.”
Milk donor screening, modeled after blood donor screening, includes health history, physician approval, and a blood test. These are some of the many measures taken to ensure the safety of milk for the fragile premature and sick babies served by MMBNE and the hospitals that use the milk. Milk from mothers who pass the screening is also pasteurized and tested by an independent lab to ensure safety before being dispensed to hospitals or families.
Human milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants. It is especially protective against a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which affects one in ten of the smallest preterm infants. Human breastmilk is estimated to lower the risk of this condition by 79%. It also lowers hospital costs by reducing costs for care and shortening hospital stays.
Donor milk is rapidly becoming the standard supplement to mothers’ milk for preterm infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). In addition, an increasing number of community hospitals with regular and special care nurseries use donor milk when babies need a supplement to their mothers’ own milk. This has led to greater demand for safe pasteurized donor human milk from nonprofit milk banks like MMBNE that are certified by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). MMBNE has been screening donors, pasteurizing milk, and dispensing to over 70 hospitals and to families throughout the Northeastern United States since 2011.
Maine Medical Center currently uses MMBNE donor milk as standard of care in its NICU. The hospital also operates a milk depot. Several other hospitals throughout the state are in the process of developing protocols and policies for use of donor milk.
Tree of Life provides natural health care for men, women and children of all ages. Each practitioner specializes in the use of natural therapies such as therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine and homeopathy. Some of the specialty services include annual wellness visits, chromic Lyme disease management, food intolerance counseling, home birth and breastfeeding support. The lactation program at Tree of Life provides education, one-on-one visits in the office and at home for breastfeeding challenges and has plans to start a weekly breastfeeding support group.
Mothers who wish to donate milk can review guidelines on the milk bank website, www.milkbankne.org/donate, then contact a Donor Intake Coordinator for screening at 617-527-6263 x3 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Approved donors can then drop off milk at the new depot by appointment. Please contact Tiffany at Tree of Life at 207-846-4900 or email@example.com to schedule a time for drop off.