MURRAY, Utah -- Breast milk can save a baby's life -- unfortunately sometimes moms can't provide it. That's why the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray opened a new donation and outreach center where Utah moms can donate their breast milk to help babies in need.
"We've opened this milk depot to increase awareness of the importance of breast milk and preterm babies and sick babies or as a bridge for babies in NICU until their mother’s milk is available," said Rebecca Rocks a registered nurse at Intermountain Medical Center.
When a mother's milk is not available doctors say donated milk is the next best option for babies. That's why more collection centers, like the one in Murray, are opening.
According to health professionals breast milk is the best food for infants, especially for babies that are premature or sick.
"These little ones require different nutrition and it helps them grow and they may not tolerate formula where they can breast milk," said Lori Eining, Director of Women Services for Central Region.
A mom who has extra milk, gathers it, freezes it and then takes it to a collection center where it is shipped off to Colorado. The Mother's Milk Bank in Denver is one of only 16 milk banks throughout the nation.
"We hope to see lots and lots of breast milk in our freezer upstairs and once we collect enough we will put that on dry ice and ship it out to Denver," Eigning said.
The milk is then pasteurized and distributed to hospitals.
"It actually puts us higher on the priority list because we are also a donation center and then when our little ones need the help and when we contract with them they will send us that milk above others," Eining said.
Those interested can fill out a donation screening form on the Denver Mothers’ Milk Bank website, www.milkbankcolorado.org, or call 303-869-1888.
For more information about the Intermountain Medical Center Donation and Outreach Center, visit intermountainmedicalcenter.org/milkdonation, or call Rebecca Rocks, lactation specialist, at 801-507-7683.