New breast milk donation center opens in Cy-Fair

May 13, 2013 3:32:59 PM PDT
Mothers who are helping other moms by donating critical breast milk are now able to do it closer to home. A brand new donation center is opening up in Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital and the milk that's provided can help babies who are in desperate need of it.

The new milk depot at the Cy-Fair Medical Center is essentially a new drop-off point for moms who can donate breast milk, making it far easier for women who are in a position to help other moms and babies.

When a baby is born early or with health problems at the hospital, a neonatalogist will often write a prescription for breast milk.

"Human babies who are on breast milk do a lot better than babies on formula," said Dr. Arum Amaram.

The Mothers' Milk Bank of Austin supplies Cy-Fair Medical Center with pasteurized breast milk donated by mothers who have an oversupply of milk. Mothers like Laura Verret who lives in the Cy-Fair area. Her son was born nine weeks early at Texas Women's Hospital, so she donated her extra milk there.

Then Noah came home a month ago and helping other babies got more complicated.

"It's quite a drive down to the Med Center with two kids in the car in traffic," Verret said.

That is until Friday, when the Cy-Fair Medical Center opened its milk depot.

The Mothers' Milk Bank of Austin picks up the donations every week and takes them back to Austin to be pasteurized. From there, hospitals in Texas and all over the country can order what they need, just like they order prescription drugs from pharmaceutical companies.

And when a mom can't produce enough, donor milk is liquid gold.

"Each mom makes a certain type of milk for her baby. If she can't have that, then the next best thing is the donor milk for the babies," said lactation consultant Jocelyn Possehl.

Noah is doing fine now and the family fridge is stuffed with thousands of ounces of breast milk; milk that will help babies in neonatal intensive care units in the coming weeks.

"It's nice to be able to help babies in need," said Verret.

There are seven milk depots for the Mothers' Milk Bank of Austin in our area, including Houston, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Katy and Clear Lake. There is a screening process and the milk bank makes sure your baby is getting enough milk before you are allowed to donate.

You can read more on this story in The Cy-Creek Mirror, one of our Houston Community Newspaper partners online.
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