Erlanger Health System is in immediate need of human milk donations for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit babies.
Through a partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank of Tennessee, Erlanger Baroness Hospital is a milk depot serving Chattanooga and the surrounding region. As a milk depot, Erlanger serves as a safe, controlled collection point where women may donate their mother’s milk for premature and at risk infants in need. "Our goal is to make it easy for moms to help other moms provide vitally important nutrients to their babies who are struggling to survive," officials said.
"The donation process is relatively simple, but stringent to protect our vulnerable patients," Christy Phillips, regional director of Mother’s Milk Bank of Tennessee, said about the donation process. "The donor mom has labs drawn and is tested for certain viruses. Then, it is sent to the facility in Austin, where it is tested and pasteurized.”
"The milk depot is helping fight the critical shortage of donor human milk in the U.S., and in turn, is saving infants' lives," officials said. "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pasteurized donor human milk be given to premature infants when a mother's own milk cannot be used."
"What these women do from their heart to donate to the babies, is heartwarming and extraordinarily selfless," Ms. Phillips said. “This community and our staff are committed to doing everything possible to help save these babies’ lives.”
Qualified donors are mothers who are producing excess milk, are in good health and not taking any contraindicated medications. Mothers whose infants have passed away can also donate breast milk in memory of their baby.
To determine your eligibility or find out more information, can visit erlanger.org and click on Women’s Services or call 1-877-813-6455 to begin the screening process. The first donation must be 100 ounces. The Human Milk Bank of Austin will call the donor with her approval status, then she can call Erlanger at 778-8304 to setup an appointment for dropping off donations.