By Rick Koshko
Human milk banks are getting a lot of attention as parents looking for baby formula keep finding empty store shelves. OSF Certified Lactation Counselor Kelly Hert says the hospital system doesn’t distribute human milk. Rather, it takes it from mothers who’ve been tested and accepted into the milk bank.
Women who might need it can contact the Mothers Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. Just as importantly, women who produce more than they need can also contact the milk bank to become donors.
Hert says sometimes St. Elizabeth Hospital can help for a little while. If it has more than enough formula for the babies at the hospital, it can provide some for parents to take home.
Hert says sometimes a doctor’s office can provide a free promotional formula sample. And sometimes the formula companies can send free samples.
Some parents are turning to online recipes. They don’t help everyone though. A lot depends on the baby’s body’s ability to break down complex proteins and absorb the nutrients. A recipe from generations ago may be touted as the one that fed your grandparents. But store-bought formulas were developed because the home made mixes weren’t adequate for everyone.