RALEIGH, N.C. (April 5, 2012) – WakeMed Health & Hospitals asks healthy, lactating mothers to donate to the WakeMed Mother’s Milk Bank to replenish depleting supplies.
Every day in the WakeMed Mother’s Milk Bank, mothers and doctors trying to secure milk for babies are regretfully declined due to significantly increased demand.
“The value of breast milk and breastfeeding is finally being realized in the United States,” said Sue Evans, executive director of the WakeMed Mother’s Milk Bank. “But, there are moms who are unable to produce milk of their own for their infants. Many times these infants are preemies who really need breast milk to grow and thrive.”
This trend, coupled with the fact that WakeMed is the larger of two milk banks serving the entire east coast, creates supply and demand issues, Evans said.
The lack of donations and increased need is not isolated to North Carolina. Human milk banks across the country are experiencing a similar trend as more and more hospitals and mothers learn about the benefits of breast milk and trust in the safety of donor milk. There has never been a documented disease or illness transmission through processed human milk.
Milk is donated to the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank, and donors are never paid. However, the Mothers' Milk Bank assumes all costs for blood testing and supplies containers to store milk.
Most donor mothers find they can begin pumping extra milk (typically four ounces each day) to donate once their own children are a few weeks old and are regularly gaining weight. Donors store the milk in their home freezer, then deliver the milk to WakeMed.
Healthy, lactating mothers who do not drink, smoke, or use certain medications and have an excess of milk, are encouraged to contact the Milk Bank by calling (919) 350-8599.
About WakeMed Health & Hospitals
WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a private, not-for-profit health care organization based in Raleigh, N.C. The 870-bed system comprises a network of health care facilities throughout Wake and Johnston Counties. Centers of excellence include cardiac and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, physical rehab, emergency and trauma, orthopedics, neurosciences, home care and numerous wellness and community outreach programs. WakeMed’s team of 7,700 employees, 1,000 volunteers, more than 1,000 affiliated physicians, and 150 physicians employed by WakeMed Physician Practices serve the residents of North Carolina using the most advanced technologies to ensure the finest in health care. For more information, visit www.wakemed.org.