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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District announced Thursday Mothers’ Milk Bank will start making human milk donations available to mothers at home.

The milk bank primarily serves premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.

However, now donor milk will be available to families at home when mothers have a low milk supply, are ill or on certain medications, or in cases of adoption or surrogacy.

Pasteurized donor human milk provides nutritious benefits in the absence of the mother’s milk, including infection-fighting factors, active growth and development hormones, improved digestion, and ideal nutrition.

The milk dispensary at CUPHD dispenses pasteurized donor human milk to families who would prefer to use screened, pasteurized donor human milk instead of cow’s milk-based formula when their doctor recommends supplementation.

“Rigorous safety protocols ensure that pasteurized donor human milk is safe when it’s provided from a milk bank accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Donors are blood tested and thoroughly screened for diseases and the use of tobacco, alcohol, and medications,” says Summer Kelly, Executive Director of Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. “Milk dispensed at CUPHD is pasteurized to eliminate viruses and bacteria. After pasteurization, the milk is tested once again for safety.”

“Access to pasteurized donor human milk in the outpatient setting has been important to breastfeeding families for decades,” according to Anne Eglash MD, Medical Director of Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. “Many families have found peace, reassurance, and encouragement by the provision of donor human milk when there has been insufficient mothers’ own milk.”

The milk bank is located at 201 W. Kenyon Rd. in Champaign.

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