“Some babies need supplementation,” said lactation consultant Kathleen Fulwider. “We offer donor milk to healthy babies to protect the integrity of their gut, until mo’s milk is in. So we see donor milk as a bridge.”
The Mother Baby Center has had access to donor milk through the Minnesota Milk Bank, but recently they also became a place that women could donate. Women like Laurel Kurt.
“She was born in December at 5 pounds 13 ounces,” Laurel said about her daughter, Gemma. “I ended up with a huge oversupply of milk.”
Laurel didn’t know exactly what to do at first, but with the help of a friend, and the internet, she was able to become the first donor at this milk depot. She has already donated 18 bags of milk, and plans to keep going as long as her daughter keeps nursing.
“Formula use is a maternal choice,” said Fulwider, “Our goal is support the moms that want to exclusively breastfeed.”
The Mother Baby is working towards options for women with low milk production. Premature babies are one of most frequent recipients of donated milk in their first hours of life, thanks to the generosity of others.
“It’s for our community. And its kind of cool – women helping other women. Doing what’s best for our babies,” said Fulwider.
The milk depot at the Mother Baby Center works with the Minnesota Milk Bank. If you would like to learn more about the donating process, you can call the milk bank at 763-546-8051.