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Mothers’ Milk Bank: How to Get Involved

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For many new moms, the ability to breastfeed their children is a blessing. Some new moms, however, are unable to breastfeed for a variety of reasons. That was the case for Megan Nelson, a breast cancer survivor and mother of two in Arvada.

babyMegan was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer after the birth of her second son, Luke. After undergoing a double mastectomy, Megan was heartbroken that she could not breastfeed Luke as she had with her first son. In order to give Luke his best start in life, Megan relied on donor human milk from Mothers’ Milk Bank (MMB), a Colorado-based program benefitting women and babies nationwide. Now expecting her third son, Megan plans to feed her baby donor human milk from MMB once again.

“Being able to provide my sons with donor human milk has meant so much to my husband and I, but especially to our sons,” Megan said. “Mothers’ Milk Bank has always been professional, and I know that I can trust that the milk they process from donors is safe for my growing boys.”

MMB receives human milk from pre-screened donors throughout Colorado and the U.S. Once at MMB’s Arvada facility, human milk from two or more donors is combined to ensure more consistent fat content and pasteurized to kill unwanted bacteria and viruses while preserving essential nutrients babies need to thrive. MMB’s 1,000 square foot ISO7 lab uses clean room technology, ensuring low-levels of microbial and particulate contamination during the processing of donor human milk so mothers know the milk is safe. The milk is then frozen and prepared for dispensation.

Human milk provides babies with essential immune properties, growth factors, hormones, enzymes and many other important properties that they cannot get from formula. If a mother is unable to provide milk for her baby, human milk banks approved by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) are the next best choice. MMB is a HMBANA member.

In 2014, MMB processed more than 545,000 ounces of donor human milk and plans to process 1 million ounces in the next few years. Ninety percent of the donor human milk MMB processes is distributed to neonatal intensive care units in hospitals across the country for premature or sick babies. The remaining milk is given to babies receiving outpatient care and to families like Megan’s.

milkbank1“For many babies, a human milk donation could be their greatest gift in life, “said MMB Outreach Director Laraine Lockhart-Borman. “Donor milk is the best option when a baby’s mother cannot produce her own milk..

“At Mothers’ Milk Bank, we strive to provide human milk to any baby who needs it,” Lockhart-Borman said. “The human milk donations of generous, breast-feeding mothers allow us to grow our services, helping more babies and their families.”

Megan and countless other recipients are immensely thankful for the gift of donor human milk. MMB welcomes donor milk from women throughout Colorado and most of the U.S. Women interested in donating milk may fill out the donor screening form on MMB’s website at www.milkbankcolorado.org or call 303.869.1888. You can also follow them on Facebook to learn more about human milk, milk banking and how to get involved with MMB. If you would like to learn more about Megan Nelson’s story and MMB, watch this recent 9News story.

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Recycle Your Breast Pump

Medela hopes to recycle 12,000 Medela breastpumps through this initiative that also reduces solid waste and helps protect the environment.  Moms that are ready to part with their pump can visit theMedela website where they can print out a pre-paid shipping label to send their pump to Medela. Medela will  then send all eligible breastpumps to a third-party processing center where they will be broken down and all recyclable parts will be recycled appropriately. To help Medela reach its goal, please visit www.medelarecycles.com and help spread the word! 

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