Human milk bank to open in Mississippi - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Human milk bank to open in Mississippi

Stephanie Bell Flynt | email

FLOWOOD, MS (WLBT) - Born at 24 weeks gestation, tiny Makayla needs all the help she can get in the River Oaks Suites Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Makayla weighed one pound, four ounces at birth, and at eight weeks, her weight has increased to two pounds, six ounces. One important ingredient in the mix to her growing, is a feeding tube. "Mother's milk is always best but the second best for babies like this baby is donor milk, which is obtained from a human milk bank where women donate breast milk and it's processed just like cow's milk is," said Neonatologist Dr. Christina Glick with Newborn Associates of Jackson.

When her mom's milk supply dwindled, this preemie was switched without hesitation to donated breast milk. "Breast milk is a very complex product. It's not like something you can "can" because there's so many unique proteins and other elements, minerals, white cells, many other things that provide immunity for the baby's intestinal gut aside from just you usually think of as the immune system," Dr. Glick said.

"Just to know you're nurturing your child but you're also helping a sick baby is just incredible. It's great," said Anna Kathryn Stewart, a breast milk donor. She routinely sends milk in a container to a milk bank in Austin Texas. "I was having to pump for (my baby) and I ended up having so much milk in the freezer and anybody that's ever breast fed (will understand) you don't want to throw your milk away. It hurts to pour it down the sink."

While Anna Kathryn is sending her breast milk to the Austin milk bank, Dr. Glick receives donated milk from Austin. But in the next year, she and other advocates of breast feeding will open the mother's milk bank of Mississippi. "We're very close now, so it's an exciting time," she said.

Eventually, Dr. Glick hopes all babies like little Makayla will get the nutritional edge they need to survive and thrive.

*Please note, there are milk banks that pay moms for their milk and are deemed unethical. Mother's Milk Bank of Mississippi does not pay for breast milk  and operates under the strict guidelines of HMBANA, the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. 

Mother's Milk Bank of Mississippi link

Mother's Milk Bank of Mississippi Facebook

HMBANA link

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