Hattiesburg health care facilities host Mothers’ Milk Bank of Mississippi milk drive
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Three Hattiesburg health care facilities have teamed up to help mothers in the community with the baby formula shortage.
Forrest General Hospital, Merit Health Wesley and Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative partnered with the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Mississippi to help provide breast milk for premature and special needs infants.
“There are many benefits for providing breast milk to your babies,” said Michelle Roberts, Forrest General Hospital lactation nurse. “Not just for our premature and special needs babies in our NICU, but it really does help decrease the rate of sudden infant death syndrome. It helps decrease their chance of developing childhood illnesses like asthma. It can help lower their rate of childhood obesity along with lowering their rate of developing high blood pressure or high cholesterol or anything else like that during childhood.”
Although the milk drives are primarily for NICU babies, Roberts said extra donations would go to other babies in need. Parents and caregivers can call the Milk Bank of Mississippi to see if they qualify.
“This is definitely something that can help reassure our moms as far as that shortage,” said Roberts. “I know it’s a very scary time for our moms. Sometimes the milk bank does have extra after they meet the needs of our NICUs around the state, so moms can qualify for 10 bottles.”
Roberts also said that there are specific requirements for those wanting to donate.
“Donors must be non-smokers and generally in good health, not taking certain medications or herbal supplements,” said Roberts. “Blood work is required of all of our donors. There’s no cost for our donors, and the initial donation amount is a minimum of 100 ounces.”
Merit Health Wesley is hosting the next milk bank drive to drop off donated milk on July 11.
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