HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - In an effort to combat the growing demand for donated breast milk in hospitals, Forrest General opened the Mothers' Milk Depot just one month ago. Since the introduction of the depot, 4,000 ounces of breast milk has been donated.
"This year the Mothers' Milk Bank in Austin had 430 donors, but they need 700 donors to meet this year's need," said Jennifer Massey, neonatal nurse practitioner at Forrest General. "So we opened up the Mothers' Milk Bank Depot here to help them collect donors."
Once the milk is donated, it is sent to the Mothers' Milk Bank in Austin, Texas where it is pasteurized and tested for infections and diseases. The milk is then dispensed to hospitals with babies in need of the life-saving substance. The organization is committed to providing breast milk to babies in need, regardless of their ability to pay.
Breast milk has many advantages over formula, and ensures a healthy start for a baby. Babies who are fed breast milk grow better, have higher IQs, fewer allergies and are less likely to contract infections. According to Massey, mothers of premature or sick babies who are unable to produce enough milk, say donated breast milk can be an enormous blessing.
"We just wanted to thank all the mothers who had donated so far," said Jennifer Massey. "We are just ecstatic that they have made this such a huge success. And we just wanted to say a big thank you."
Mothers interested are encouraged to contact Forrest General Hospital's lactation department at (601) 288-3763 for more details.