PROVO, Utah – The Utah County Health Department created a milk depot in Provo to help meet the growing need for breast milk in Utah.
The mother’s milk is collected at the depot, located at 151 South University Avenue in Provo, then screened and processed at the Mother’s Milk Bank in Denver, which serves 80 locations in 24 states.
“When mothers are unable to provide milk for their own babies, what we need is a bridge until they can produce their own milk. Or we use it for a month or two, whatever we need to,” said Deanne Francis, a registered nurse and lactation consultant.
Mothers who are interested in donating milk can fill out an application online, take a blood test and submit a milk sample for screening.
“We are grateful to have mothers who will pump and donate their milk. The milk bank needs 150 ounces to make it cost-effective but we just had a mom who donated 21 gallons,” Francis said.
Public and private health partners in Utah are working on setting up a center in Utah like the one in Denver. They hope to have one in place by next year.
“If we could get the moms in Utah who are qualified donors to donate the minimum which is 150 ounces, you cannot imagine what that would do to make up the 50 percent deficit we have for the need. That’s what we need to provide for the sick babies in this country,” Francis said.
There is also a breast milk donation center in Salt Lake City, opened by the University of Utah in 2011.