Giving the gift of nutrition: New breast milk donation bank opens in Pueblo

Local

 A new breast milk donation bank, where women can drop off extra milk, has opened in Pueblo.

It’s the second of its kind in Pueblo, and it’s a convenient place where women who are lactating can make a difference in the lives of babies across Colorado. 

Many times mothers cannot supply any or enough milk for their babies, and donated human milk can be the difference in a baby’s survival.

This new Donation and Outreach Center is all thanks to a partnership between Mothers’ Milk Bank and the Pueblo Women, Infant, and Children, or WIC, Program.

Donors are pre-screened through the milk bank, which involves a blood draw and questionnaires. Once they qualify, donors can drop excess milk off at the Pueblo WIC office at 101 West Ninth Street from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The milk donations are then transported to the Mothers’ Milk Bank facility in Arvada, where they are pasteurized. After that, the milk is sent back to Parkview Medical Center to help premature and other NICU babies. 

“It’s really, really special for babies that are immunocompromised, so a lot of times those are premature, sometimes they’re not, but it can really help with risk of certain diseases,” said Nicole Cawrse, program manager at Pueblo WIC. “NEC, or necrotizing fasciitis, is where the gut can kind of attack itself, and breast milk is the number one way to help protect against that.”

The Pueblo WIC program also provides free breastfeeding support, a texting program, breast pump loans, and a Pueblo Babies Breast Friends Group for new moms. 

If you’d like to become a donor, fill out the donation screening form on Mothers’ Milk Bank’s website or call 303-869-1888.   

“More than 90 percent of Colorado’s milk donations directly serve premature babies in hospital settings, and it’s our mission to make sure every baby who needs milk to survive receives it,” said Laraine Lockhart-Borman, director of outreach at Mothers’ Milk Bank. “We accomplish this with the help of hundreds of new donors every year. We need more milk donors to meet the demand. Many moms don’t realize how much their milk can help. It takes only one ounce of human milk to feed a micro-preemie for one day.”

Pueblo WIC Program is a nutrition program to help income-eligible families with children up to age 5 and women that are pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding. WIC provides free nutrition counseling and healthy foods to those who qualify. 

Mothers’ Milk Bank is a program of Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. Mothers’ Milk Bank collects, processes, tests and provides donor human milk to babies across the country. Since opening nearly 35 years ago, Mothers’ Milk Bank has consistently been one of the largest nonprofit milk banks in North America and adheres to the strict guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

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