LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) has been named a designated Breast Milk Depot by BreastfeedLA, a nonprofit breastfeeding advocacy organization in Los Angeles. AVH is one of only two designated milk collection sites in the county. The designation means breastfeeding moms can now drop off breast milk at AVH; it will then be processed, pasteurized and distributed to infants in need of this vital resource.
“Breast milk can be the difference between life and death for some premature or medically fragile infants,” said Andrea Randenberg, RN, executive director of Women & Infants Pavilion services at AVH. “We want every child who needs it to have access to mothers’ milk and get the appropriate care they need to start life as healthy as possible.”
Breast milk donated at AVH will be sent to Mothers’ Milk Bank in San Jose where it will be processed to remove viruses and bacteria that may cause illness. The donor human milk will then be distributed to hospitals and families.
In honor of National Breastfeeding Month in August, AVH and Mothers’ Milk Bank are encouraging moms to donate their breast milk. To become a donor, call Mother’s Milk Bank at 877-375-6645. A brief medical history and a free blood test are required. Approved donors will be sent milk bags and instructions on how to store their much-appreciated donation until it can be dropped off at the Women & Infants Pavilion at AVH.
Mothers are also invited to drop off their frozen breast milk (expressed within the past six months) at the AV Baby Expo on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Antelope Valley Partners for Health, 44226 10th Street West, in Lancaster. A representative from Mothers’ Milk Bank will be on site to collect donations. It isn’t necessary to be pre-screened, although a screening will be required.
Currently, Los Angeles County uses the most human milk in the state but donates the least back to the Mothers’ Milk Bank. AVH uses more than six gallons of breastmilk in its neonatal intensive care unit every month.
“It’s vital to the health of our most vulnerable patients,” said Randenberg.
[Information via news release from Antelope Valley Hospital.]