A Maplewood business has become a link to better health, and even survival, for premature infants.
No medicine works for premature infants like human milk, but many infants in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) don’t have access to this resource. The Milk Bank, a nonprofit milk bank serving NICUs across the Midwest, is expanding into Missouri so more families can be part of this lifesaving mission.
The Milk Bank opened a new milk depot at Amber Sky in Maplewood on Tuesday, according to a press release. This will allow eligible mothers in the area to drop off their milk donations, where they will then be sent to The Milk Bank’s pasteurization facility in Indianapolis and distributed to NICUs across the Midwest. When no milk depots are present, donors must package and ship their donations to The Milk Bank.
Currently, the only depot in Missouri is in St. Louis. With the opening of the Amber Sky and Little Flower Family Medicine depots this March, Missouri will be home to three milk depots for interested donors.
The Milk Bank, a HMBANA-affiliated, nonprofit milk bank, ensures that fragile infants get the highest quality donor milk. Donors are screened for eligibility, and they must pass a blood test to donate their milk. The Milk Bank accepts donations through a child’s second year of life and has dispensed over 1 million ounces of donated milk since its founding in 2005.
“We are thrilled to open a milk depot to welcome more Missouri mothers to our mission,” Janice O’Rourke, executive director of The Milk Bank said.
“When more mothers become aware of how easy the milk donation process is and how they can be a part of it, the more infants we will be able to help,” she said.