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Mother’s milk bank opens first site in Lehigh Valley

Lactating women in the Lehigh Valley quickly could have a chance to assist nourish fragile infants.

A Pittsburg mom’s milk bank is opening the first donation site in the world Tuesday, recruiting donors prepared to contribute their extra breast milk.

Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank, a nonprofit that processes and pasteurizes breast milk donations is establishing a drop-off site on the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Center in South Whitehall Township. As analysis exhibits the advantages of breast milk, increasingly hospitals are feeding untimely and ailing infants donated mom’s milk. The milk bank opened final yr to satisfy these wants, stated Denise O’Connor, the Executive Director of the milk bank.

Now, the milk bank is opening donation websites all through the state.

Through their efforts final yr, greater than 530 individuals donated and greater than 133,000 ounces have been distributed to 19 amenities throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia, together with St. Luke’s University Health Network, in accordance with the group.

Staff on the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Center, the place moms take part in help teams, take courses and see docs, reached out to the milk bank to turn into a donation site as a result of mothers needed to know what to do with their additional milk, stated Lora Steffie, the middle’s director

In addition to recruiting donors, the donation site additionally will increase consciousness concerning the want for donated milk O’Connor stated. The group pays for administrative prices, checks for donors and pasteurization, and sells milk for $three.95 an oz.

On Tuesday, a number of moms who’ve gone by means of screening will donate tons of of ounces of milk to the middle. Women who’re accepted as donors can pump and retailer breast milk in their house freezers. Donors are inspired to provide solely when their child’s wants are met or if they’re a bereaved or a surrogate mother.

Erin Engler, a faculty librarian from Alburtis, is grateful for the chance to donate milk that may go dangerous if she didn’t use it.

“I feel like my son and I are helping them out,” she stated. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to this.”

Donor human milk can scale back the danger of health issues in infants, particularly if they’re low in weight, based on the American Academy of Pediatrics. Babies fed human milk have decrease charges of a life-threatening intestinal dysfunction that primarily impacts untimely infants, tons of of whom are born annually in the Lehigh Valley. Nationwide, about half one million infants are born early annually, in response to the World Health Organization, which ranks the United States among the many highest in untimely births.

The Lehigh Valley group is working with the milk bank to make the Breastfeeding Center a spot the place moms can get donated milk as properly.

Alison Testa, of Easton, needs to become involved.

Before she turned pregnant, Testa stated she donated blood repeatedly. And when being pregnant made it troublesome to donate, she needed give again in another method.

“It was kind of a no-brainer to donate,” she stated.

She’s ready for the outcomes of her blood check, a required process, earlier than dropping off her provide.

“It feels like a gift I never thought I’d be able to give,” she stated.


What: The Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Center is teaming up with the Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank to open a breast milk donation site.

When: 11 a.m. Tuesday

Where: 1517 Pond Road, second flooring, South Whitehall Township

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