Human milk depot opens in Jefferson County, Illinois

Human milk depot opens in Jefferson County, Illinois

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - Mothers are now able to easily donate their breast milk to NICU babies in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Jefferson County Health Department has paired up with Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes to give mothers the opportunity to help other babies out.

The Education and Outreach Specialist for Mothers’ Milk Bank said human milk can help a baby thrive in life.

“Our milk, 80 percent of it goes to hospitals mostly those high-level NICUs so a lot of our milk is going to those fragile babies where their stomachs aren’t fully developed, and they aren’t able to digest formula very well,” said Nicole Robbins.

Robbins said having a milk depot in the community benefits more than just the babies.

“It makes it easier for moms to donate in the community, it increases the awareness of the importance of human milk and the supply of human milk for those who need it most,” she said.

The Breastfeeding Counselor for the health department, Jamie Spells, said it’s easy to become a donor.

“They’ll have to go through blood screening. So they’ll get lab work done, all covered by the mothers bank, and then after the mothers bank makes sure all the lab works done, they will get back with the mom’s and they will give the mom’s a donor number and they will contact me so they’ll bring the milk to here," said Spells.

Robbins’ said mothers can also receive milk if they have a low supply, are ill or on certain medications.

There is also a milk bank in Carbondale and several others in Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky.

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