Aspirus Breast Milk Program Helps Feed Babies
August was National Breastfeeding Month and Aspirus Health used this opportunity to educate the community about the Aspirus Breast Milk Program that is helping families struggling to feed their babies.
The Aspirus Breast Milk donation program, at the Aspirus Wausau Hospital (AWH) and Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital (ASP) depots has collected a total of over 12,000 pounds of donated milk in the program’s ten years. That’s nearly 1,400 gallons of milk.
AWH and ASP serve as depot centers for The Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes, a certified breast milk bank located near Chicago. For convenience to donating mothers throughout the state of Wisconsin, there are several drop-off sites located across the Aspirus Health system where mothers can donate their breast milk.
“Women who are breastfeeding may have an overabundance of milk and for a variety of reasons might not use all of their milk,” said Chris Bletsoe, RN, Aspirus Care Coordination Navigator. “Under typical circumstances, programs such as ours are a way to capture excess breast milk for sick and premature babies who could benefit from the immunological properties of breast milk.
Mothers who are interested in becoming donors are screened for eligibility using a variety of health history questions and lifestyles questions. Donors are given lab tests to screen for any potential infections. The mother can begin donating milk once she clears the screening process.
Mothers who are interested in becoming breast milk donors can call Aspirus Women’s Health at 715-847-0454, toll-free at 888-236-2483, or by emailing [email protected]