Yesterday, Sept 21 2016 marked the opening of the first ever human milk bank in NY. This is such a wonderful thing! What an amazing way to help save infant’s in need. Read below for the press release.
HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, NY – September 21, 2016 – The nonprofit New York Milk Bank (NYMB) today announced its grand opening as the first and only comprehensive, community-based milk bank dedicated to serving New York State. The opening ceremony was held at the NYMB’s new facility in Westchester County, NY, where it will process donated breast milk and coordinate distribution of pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) to feed babies in need, particularly premature and sick infants.
“We are thrilled to be able to help address the critical need for accessible, affordable donor breast milk in New York and beyond,” said Julie Bouchet-Horwitz, Founder and Executive Director of the NYMB, and a board-certified lactation consultant and family nurse practitioner. “Research shows human milk provides the best nutrition for babies and protects against numerous life-threatening infections, especially in vulnerable preterm infants. Establishing The New York Milk Bank has been a true labor of love for our team, and we are committed to improving the health and survival of babies in need by providing safe PDHM when their own mother’s milk is not available.”
Approximately one in 10 babies is born prematurely. These infants often face significant health challenges and are at particular risk of developing the serious intestinal disease necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which may be fatal.Feeding premature babies exclusively with human breast milk can dramatically reduce the risk, so it is crucial that hospitals have a dependable, affordable supply of PDHM.
New York State will need an estimated 200,000 ounces of PDHM per year just to meet the needs of the smallest premature infants. Until the opening of NYMB, milk donated by mothers in New York has been sent to milk banks in other states for processing and distribution.
“My daughter was born prematurely at 24 weeks and needed donor milk for months after her birth. I saw firsthand how beneficial breast milk can be for babies struggling to survive, and know how scary it is, as a parent, not to have milk readily available,” said Theresa McCaffrey, of Hastings-On-Hudson, whose daughter is now two years old. “When Ceci was born we had to ship milk in from Massachusetts because there wasn’t a milk bank in New York State. The New York Milk Bank is providing an important service to our community, and I’m happy that New York families have such a strong advocate when it comes to the health of our babies.”
Already, more than 20 hospitals in New York are using donor milk. The NYMB is working with others to ensure donor milk is available to all infants in need across the state. Mothers who have been screened by the NYMB can donate milk at one of the 17 depots in New York accepting donations – from Buffalo to New York City – with more opening in the coming months. Mothers may also ship their frozen milk directly to the NYMB.
“We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of mothers who donate their extra breast milk to help save the lives of premature, low birth weight and sick infants,” said Roseanne Motti, Manager of the NYMB. “They are part of a centuries-old tradition of donating milk to help infants in need, and provide an essential benefit that has been validated time and again by the medical community.”
The NYMB is licensed by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) to ensure safety. To learn more about the NYMB or find out how you can become a donor or a recipient of breast milk, visitwww.NYMilkBank.org.
About The New York Milk Bank
The New York Milk Bank, Inc. (NYMB) is the first and only comprehensive, community-based donor human milk bank in New York State, based in Westchester County, NY. It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit milk bank and a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). The NYMB is committed to improving the health and survival of infants in need by providing safe pasteurized donor human milk when their own mother’s milk is not available in sufficient quantities. It was started by a volunteer group of lactation experts including physicians, nurses, and lactation professionals and is licensed by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). To learn more, visit www.NYMilkBank.org.
About Pasteurized Donor Human Milk (PDHM)
Research shows that human milk provides the best nutrition for all babies and is especially critical for premature infants, who face significant health challenges. When a mother’s own milk is unavailable, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that preterm infants receive pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM). The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) was founded in 1985 to establish standards for North American milk banks, and there are currently 25 HMBANA banks in North America with five more in development. Donors to HMBANA-accredited milk banks undergo a thorough screening process, including verbal and written questionnaires, a blood test for HIV and other infectious diseases, and medical clearance from the donor’s and baby’s health providers. Donated milk is then pasteurized to destroy bacteria and viruses and tested to ensure safety. Donor human milk is species-specific, and, once appropriately pasteurized, is safe for vulnerable infants.