Ochsner St. Anne Hospital has become the first hospital in the region to open a milk depot for the Mothers' Milk Bank of Louisiana at Ochsner Baptist.
The hospital announced the milk depot's opening, saying that the decision was part of Ochsner Health System's continued commitment to providing evidenced-based programs that support mother-infant bonding and safe feeding practices.
The Mothers' Milk Bank of Louisiana received accreditation from the Human Milk Banking Association of North America in March 2018, making Louisiana the 22nd state in the United States to open a HMBANA-accredited donor human milk bank.
Medical professionals say there is a large need for donor human milk in hospital neonatal intensive care units around the United States.
A milk depot provides a secure, convenient storage place for approved donors to donate the scare resource.
Women who are actively lactating are eligible to be screened by the MMBL staff at no charge to become an approved human milk donor.
Depot sites such as the one at Ochsner St. Anne function as a user-friendly and safe satellite storage facility for HMBANA milk banks, such as MMBL.
The milk is stored and shipped frozen to MMBL for pasteurization.
Nonprofit milk banks like MMBL follow HMBANA guidelines to ensure that donor human milk is safe and available to infants who need it most.
The human milk dispensed is processed to meet the specific needs of fragile and sick babies.
"We are extremely excited to have a local place where approved donors can drop off their life saving milk to be used for infants in need across our state” said Pam Folse, lactation nurse, Ochsner St. Anne Hospital. “We are so grateful to Natasha Goss, MD, OB/GYN at Ochsner Women’s Health Center – Raceland, for being both a resource and our first official approved donor here at the Ochsner St. Anne Milk Depot.”
Mothers who are interested in donating their milk must first undergo a screening process, which includes lab work.
Once screening is complete, the donor is given a MMBL donor ID number and can drop off milk at Ochsner St. Anne Hospital seven days per week.
Approved donors can bring their milk to the third floor Mother Baby Unit between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
To schedule a drop off, please call (985) 537-2335.
For more information on the milk depot at Ochsner St. Anne, please contact the Lactation Department at (985) 537-8291.To learn more about Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana please call (504) 703-6455 or click here. To schedule an appointment with an Ochsner St. Anne Women’s Health provider, call 985-537-3211 or visit www.ochsner.org to schedule online.