In a unique way to give back, breastfeeding moms across the metro area donated 2,545 ounces of their milk through the first Pump for Preemies event, held Dec. 4 on Colorado Gives Day. Mothers’ Milk …
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Women who are currently or have recently finished lactating are encouraged to donate their surplus milk. Ideal candidates for milk donors are non-smoking women in good health who take limited or no medications and herbal supplements. Interested donors fill out a medical history form and complete a quick blood draw. The donated milk is pasteurized and distributed to hospitals.
To become a donor or check your eligibility, visit www.rmchildren.org/mothers-milk-bank/donate-milk/.
In a unique way to give back, breastfeeding moms across the metro area donated 2,545 ounces of their milk through the first Pump for Preemies event, held Dec. 4 on Colorado Gives Day.
Mothers’ Milk Bank, a branch of the Arvada-based Rocky Mountains Children Health Foundation that collects and pasteurizes human milk to support the healthy development of premature and fragile babies across the nation, hosted the milk drive.
Arvada resident Samantha Botts, who has been a milk donor since May, was one of the participants. She dropped off 35 pounds of human milk during the event.
“If I have extra to give, then why not?” Botts said. “Helping moms that can’t produce and babies that need milk is the best. You feel just amazing that you’re helping so many people across Colorado and, especially, people who need it.”
More than 90 percent of Mothers’ Milk Bank’s milk donations directly serve premature babies in hospital settings, said Laraine Lockhart-Borman, the milk bank’s outreach director.
“And it’s our mission to make sure every baby who needs milk to survive receives it,” she said. “We accomplish this with the help of hundreds of new donors across the country every year. Many moms don’t realize how much their milk can help: It takes only one ounce of human milk to feed a micro-preemie for one day in the hospital.”
Botts gave birth to her daughter in January. While at the hospital, she received a bottle of donated milk before she was able to produce her own. This act led her to becoming a donor once she started producing more than what her baby needed.
To date, she has donated about 2,000 ounces.
That experience also led her husband, Adam Botts, an MBA student at University of Colorado-Denver, to think of the milk bank when his class was given the assignment to create a project that addressed a social dilemma. Together with classmate Erin Lowdon, the two created the Pump for Preemies event.
The goal was to spread the word about milk donation, get new donors and remind current donors to bring in milk.
Abby Malman Case, international board-certified lactation consultant and manager of donor relations at Mothers’ Milk Bank, said that although a need for donor milk always exists, the timing of the event was important because with a higher rate of births during winter months, the number of preemies needing milk rises.
“Because the population that is able to donate is small, when you look at the grand scheme, having events like this really gets information out there about the importance of donating milk, how to donate milk and just builds awareness around that,” Malman Case said. “Having a specific event builds community and excitement.”
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