A California breast milk bank is having to cut back on helping babies who need it because supplies are running short, as are other milk banks around the country.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Mothers’ Milk Bank in San Jose is unable to meet the demand for donated breast milk given to babies who need it for medical reasons such as prematurity. They explain, “Babies at high risk often need human milk because they have trouble digesting foreign substances such as formula.”
Many of the few milk banks that exist in the United States already have to stretch their supplies across several states because no such banks exists in those other areas, yet more and more doctors are prescribing breast milk to sick babies. In an interview with the Chronicle, San Jose’s Pauline Sakamoto said, “In the 12 years I’ve been executive director, I’ve never been short. We’ve had to cut back on some of the hospital orders just so we can service more. We had to cut back on some outpatient kids because we didn’t have that supply.”
How You Can Help Babies in Need
To be eligible as a milk donor, you cannot smoke or take medication. The milk bank will give you a blood test to ensure that you are healthy enough to donate milk to fragile babies.
Here are some of the breast milk banks in the United States to which you can donate:
- Mothers’ Milk Bank, San Jose, CA
- Mothers’ Milk Bank, Austin, TX
- WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank, Raleigh, NC
- Mothers’ Milk Bank of Ohio
- Mother’s Milk Bank, Denver, CO
- Mothers’ Milk Bank of New England
- Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank