Health: Cape Cod Hospital Opens Donor Milk Depot

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The Family Birthplace at Cape Cod Hospital has partnered with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast to become an official donor milk depot. This newly added depot location, the eighth in Massachusetts, is an important step in increasing access and awareness of milk donation across the Cape Cod region.

A donor human milk depot is a community location where donors who have completed a comprehensive health screening can drop off extra milk that their babies do not need for shipment to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. After the milk is pasteurized and tested, the milk bank will dispense it to babies who need additional milk.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Family Birthplace at Cape Cod Hospital on this vital initiative,” said Deborah Youngblood, chief executive officer of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. “Safe, pasteurized donor milk is a critical medical resource and one that requires the care, compassion and deep generosity of mothers lucky enough to have excess milk. In creating this milk depot, Cape Cod families now have an even easier way to collectively care for fragile babies who need their help.”

Human milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants and has been proven to offer an array of health benefits to babies. It is especially protective against necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening condition that affects one in 10 smallest preterm infants. While prioritized for medically fragile babies, these donations can be used as a bridge to breastfeeding for full-term healthy babies and are helpful for parents who choose to breastfeed but require supplementation as maternal milk supply is developing.

“This partnership and creation of a local milk depot signifies our deep commitment to the health and well-being of all families on Cape Cod,” said Jennifer Lacasse, director of women’s health services for Cape Cod Healthcare. “We are delighted to partner with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast to serve the community in this way.”