MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) — The Rock Island County Health Department’s WIC clinic at Community Health Care in Moline now houses a human milk depot.
The milk depot is open and taking applications for donors. Women must pass a screening process before donations can be accepted.
Pasteurized donor human milk is an important nutritional therapy for many at-risk Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) babies, as it provides numerous benefits in the absence of the mother’s milk, including infection-fighting factors, active growth and development hormones, improved digestion and ideal nutrition. Donor milk can be used when the mother has a low milk supply, is ill or on certain medications, or in cases of adoption or surrogacy.
“Human milk is most beneficial for preterm and ill infants,” said Dr. Julie Voelker, medical director of the Rock Island County Health Department. “Human milk has antibodies that formula does not contain. These help babies fight infection.”
The Rock Island County Health Department discourages informal human milk sharing because of risks of transmitting infectious diseases and from improper food handling practices.
Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes was created in 2011 from the merger of Mothers’ Milk
Association of Wisconsin and the Illinois Milk Bank Project. The milk bank collects donated breastmilk from
20 milk depots in Illinois, including Moline, 14 in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota.