Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Human Milk Banking - Love You Can Bank On

By Corky Harvey, Co-Founder of the Pump Station & Nurtury and MS, RN, IBCLC

Hurry to a magazine stand and buy the March issue of The Oprah Magazine. In it there is a fabulous article about human milk banking. The article tells the sad and touching story of a mother who gave birth to triplets at 22 weeks gestation. Two of the babies did not survive even one day, but one tiny girl lived almost 7 months—never able to come home from the NICU. This incredible mother pumped her milk the whole time and after the death of her sweet baby, she donated 7,360 ounces of her milk to a milk bank in Raleigh, North Carolina. The story includes lots of information about the importance of donor milk and about the babies who eventually were the recipients of this mother’s gift of life.

Did you know?
  • Every dollar spent on donor milk for premature babies can yield $11 to $37 in cost savings, because these infants will require less medical treatment—and yet many insurance companies won’t pay for it
  • 1.2 million ounces of human milk were distributed in 2008.
  • It would take 8.9 million ounces to provide enough human milk for all of the VLBW (very low birth weight) babies born every year in the US each year.
When you’ve read the article you will want information about how you or a friend might donate your “overstock” of milk to help another baby. We know quite a few Pump Station moms have taken the time to give this precious gift.

For more information:

Go to the Website of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America ( and find out what you can do and where you can do it. There isn’t a milk bank in the LA area, however the milk bank in San Jose and the milk depot in San Diego would gladly receive your milk.

Hey UCLA or Cedars—how about it?

You may also want to find out how to encourage your insurance company to pay for donor milk.