Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center Hosts Maryland’s First Hospital-Based Milk Depot
ROCKVILLE, Md. – Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical is giving local moms who breastfeed a way to donate their extra supply by hosting the first hospital-based milk depot in Maryland. Shady Grove is partnering with King’s Daughters Milk Bank, in Norfolk, Virginia, and will serve as a collection site for pre-screened human milk donors. The depot opens July 22.
King’s Daughters is able to ensure the safety of donated milk by careful screening, laboratory testing and pasteurization techniques. Potential donors provide complete medical and lifestyle histories and undergo blood tests similar to screening for blood banking industries. Once cleared, moms will be able to send in or drop off frozen milk at the hospital. After the drop-off, Shady Grove’s lactation consultants will send donated milk to the King’s Daughters Milk Bank, where it is cleaned, bottled and pasteurized. The milk then is stored in a deep freeze until a baby needs it. The milk is dispensed through a prescription or physician order.
“As a milk depot, Shady Grove will be able to store thousands of ounces of breastmilk,” said Carol Chornock, RN, IBCLC, lactation consultant at Shady Grove. “To put it in simple terms, one ounce of donor milk can feed four premature babies! We are so excited to be able to offer this service for our moms and babies.”
The milk depot will be especially beneficial for preterm babies and their parents. Breast milk is known to have a variety of health benefits to babies that are born premature, including the introduction of antibodies to fight disease and growth hormones that help babies develop.
Each year, 500,000 babies — or 1 in every 8 infants born in the United States – is born premature. A baby born prematurely needs time to grow and mature enough to breastfeed directly from mom.
For parents who have a preterm baby in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit like the one at Shady Grove, giving their baby donor milk can help decrease the stress to provide mom’s own milk for baby. The donor milk can be used while mom begins the pumping process and continue until she is able to supply enough breast milk for her baby on her own.
Women interested in becoming a donor can call 757-668-MILK (6455) to complete a brief phone interview to begin the screening process.
Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center cares for the people of Montgomery County, Maryland, and its surrounding communities with nationally recognized heart, vascular, cancer and surgical programs; comprehensive women’s and children’s services; and mental health services. Our mission is to extend God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.