New Human Milk Dispensary in Madison Increasing Access to Pediatric Patients in Need

July 27, 2023



By Phoebe Murray

Original Story found here. 

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes (Milk Bank WGL) and UnityPoint Health – Meriter have teamed up to provide families in Madison with pasteurized human donor milk.

This is the first time this service is being offered, according to the hospital, and only the second dispensary in the Madison area. The dispensary at the hospital’s outpatient pharmacy will allow families to purchase pasteurized donor milk.

Whitney Woodworth, a lactation consultant with UnityPoint Health – Meriter said this joint effort increases access to lifesaving, critical nutrition for pediatric patients in need. “We offer the option of donor milk for our in-patient families in the NICU and in our normal newborn nursery and sometimes they need that donor milk for short-term use to bridge that gap between the lactating parents milk coming in.”

“We first started using pasteurized donor milk in our NICU for our critical babies and we wanted to make that service available to all our babies,” started Anna Trainor, Meriter lactation consultant. “The demand is higher than we anticipated where the pharmacy staff have increased our par levels of how much we keep on site before needing to re-up to continue to meet the growing demands for breast milk.”

“Donor milk provides lots of benefits especially preterm and critically ill babies, it provides immune properties, it provides antibodies, it protects the babies gut it is overall just very supportive of their growth and its easier for them to digest,” said Woodworth.

Milk donations come from healthy, lactating people who are screened and approved as donors through Milk Bank WGL. Once collected donations are transported to the milk bank’s processing facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, where the milk is then pasteurized to eliminate viruses and bacteria.

One more layer of inspection is provided when the pasteurized milk is tested by a third-party lab. From there the milk is distributed to hospitals and outpatients across Wisconsin and Illinois.

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