In conjunction with Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Door County Medical Center (DCMC) is proud to announce that donor breast milk will soon be available to inpatient babies at their Sturgeon Bay facility.
The screened and pasteurized donor milk comes from Mother's Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes (MMBWGL), which is a Human Milk Banking Association of North America(HMBANA) certified milk bank. The implementation of this service has been a passion project of DCMC Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant Jessica Skinner, who leads a variety of lactation and childbirth programming at DCMC.
“I can't fully express how much it means to me to be able to provide this service to our families in this community,” says Skinner. “I'm simply overjoyed at the prospect.”
Prior to DCMC’s Milk Depot, the choice for inpatient babies was formula or their mother’s milk. According to Skinner, some parents, for a variety of reasons, have issues breastfeeding or accessing enough breast milk for their child. “As an approved milk depot, parents no longer have to drive to Green Bay once they have been screened by the milk bank. It really comes down to providing more options for parents.”
Offering donor breast milk also helps to raise awareness and normalize breastfeeding in general.“It’s important for newborns and infants to have access to human milk because its nutritional and immunological content far surpasses formula,” says Certified Nursing Assistant Julie Neuchter, who works with Skinner and is the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
“Human milk helps set a baby’s microbiome, or the beneficial bacteria that inhabit our guts,” explains Skinner. “Our infant feeding choices can determine the balance of those bacteria.”
At present, DCMC only has plans to dispense milk to newborns who are inpatient at their Sturgeon Bay facility. If someone is looking to purchase donor milk, they would need to go to HSHS St. Mary's in Green Bay.
If you would like to donate milk, please contact MMBWGL. Their organization has a screening process which includes an application, a phone interview, and blood testing at no cost to the donor. After you have been screened, you will be given a donor number which allows your milk to be tracked and properly logged into the system. From there you would drop your milk off at an approved depot and it would be shipped out to the milk bank where it would be batched and pasteurized. MMBWGL’s website.