HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is excited to announce it is now home to western Wisconsin’s first breast milk depot and dispensary, in partnership with Mothers' Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes.
Located in the Women and Infants Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, 911 Clairemont Ave. in Eau Claire, the depot and dispensary serves three purposes: to have pasteurized donor breast milk readily available to infants hospitalized at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital; to have pasteurized donor breast milk available to the public for purchase; and to serve as a site for women to donate breast milk.
All breast milk provided by the dispensary is tested and pasteurized by Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes, based in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, and then tested a second time before being returned to the hospital for dispensing. Those wishing to donate breast milk must be pre-screened by Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes.
“There are several reasons why mothers and caretakers may need our dispensary services,” said Maria Green, Director of the Women and Infants Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “They may struggle with low breast milk supply, they may be experiencing an illness or taking a medication that is hindering their ability to breastfeed, or they may have had a child through adoption or surrogacy.”
Summer Kelly, Executive Director of Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes said the organization adheres to rigorous safety protocols and guidelines from the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). “Potential donors are blood tested and thoroughly screened for communicable diseases, activities that increase the risk of blood borne diseases, and the use of tobacco, alcohol and medications.”
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is the only hospital in western Wisconsin to provide both a depot and dispensary in one convenient location.
“Breast milk provides countless benefits to newborns,” said Denyse Schroeder, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Women and Infants Center registered nurse, MOM coordinator and lactation specialist. “It naturally contains antibodies and other components that help prevent serious infection, promote neurological development and reduce the risk of developing other serious illnesses. We are happy and proud to be the first in our area to provide these services to moms and babies.”
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, including the new depot and dispensary, is part of a nonprofit, Catholic-based health care system. Breast milk donations by pre-approved donors, as well as monetary donations, will ensure the dispensary’s ability to provide pasteurized donor breast milk, at no cost, to hospitalized babies when needed.
Information about how to become a potential breast milk donor and how to purchase/order pasteurized donor breast milk from the HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital dispensary can be found at: www.sacredhearteauclaire.org/milkbank. Those interested in making a monetary donation can contact the HSHS Sacred Heart Foundation at 715-717-4925.