December 2010Dear Friends, Family, and Members of the Community,In the United States, 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely. For these babies, mother’s milk is more than just nutrition, it is crucial to saving lives. For example, neonatologists know that preterm babies without access to human milk are 6 to 7 times more likely to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a disorder of prematurity that attacks and destroys the intestines. Consider:
- 1.5% of preterm infants fed human milk acquire NEC
- 10-17% of preterm infants fed formula acquire NEC
- Of those babies who acquire NEC, many die or develop lifelong complications from the illness
To save these tiny lives, we are proud to announce the formation of a human milk bank in the Chicago-Milwaukee area. The Illinois Milk Bank Project has teamed up with the Mothers’ Milk Association of Wisconsin (MMAW) and will soon officially merge, changing their names to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. This developing, not-for-profit, milk bank will operate under the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) and will serve local hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin.In major cities worldwide, human milk banks collect donor milk from local mothers, pasteurize it, and test it for safety. They then provide this life-giving milk to preterm and sick infants in area hospitals via physician prescription. In some countries, the threat of NEC has been virtually eliminated with exclusive use of human milk for these fragile babies. Our babies deserve this same life-saving resource.Today, our exciting venture is in its early stages. We expect to begin processing donor milk in 2011. But before our first milk delivery to a baby in need, there is much work to be done. We need your help. Talk to your local hospitals about the importance of providing donor milk and spread the word to area moms about milk donation. Most importantly, as you think about your charitable giving during this holiday season, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to MMAW.* Our highly qualified team is volunteering its time to establish this milk bank. 100% of all contributions made to MMAW online will help fund the milk bank’s start-up expenses and go directly to this cause. Donate Now!We look forward to working with you and keeping you up to date on our progress every step of the way. To learn more about human milk banking and the guidelines we adhere to, visit www.hmbana.org.We sincerely thank you for your support,The Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes*As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable organization, all contributions to the Mothers’ Milk Association of WI are tax deductible.