That led Meriter and other hospitals to change policies in their neonatal intensive care units. More clinics are setting up depots to collect milk and ship it to banks for pasteurization, including one that opened last month at Wildwood Clinic in Cottage Grove.
Meanwhile, the age-old custom of mothers sharing raw breast milk — curtailed by the AIDS epidemic — has re-emerged through organizations such as the Madison-based Mothers’ Milk Alliance.
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The alliance, like the depots and banks that pasteurize breast milk, screens donors through blood tests and questionnaires.
Since Redmer brought her twins home, she’s been obtaining raw donor milk through the alliance. Eliza and Hazel, who continue to get a mix of donor milk and Redmer’s milk, are thriving at more than 11 pounds each.
“I’m sure the donor milk contributed to their healthy start in life,” she said.
Meriter to provide donor milk
Redmer initially bought pasteurized donor milk from the Madison Birth Center. The Middleton-based midwifery practice has collected and sold donor milk since 2007, said executive director Amie Gieseke.
The birth center sends frozen donor milk to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Ohio, where it is thawed, pooled, pasteurized, tested and frozen again for use in premature or ill babies.