Vandy NICU partners with local milk bank for babies in need

Parenting Glass Bottles
Posted at 3:57 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 16:57:49-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Newborns at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital will receive welcomed help after a milk bank will start making contributions.

Mother's Milk Bank of Tennessee — which opened in Murfreesboro — will help provide breast milk to the hospital.

Previously, babies in the neonatal intensive care unit received breast milk from out-of-state facilities.

“We were so happy to learn that the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Tennessee was opening,” said Stephanie Attarian, MD, assistant professor of Neonatology at Children’s Hospital. “This is a huge win not only for our patients but for all babies of Tennessee. What is most appealing from a community standpoint is that the milk that is donated to this milk bank will stay right here in Tennessee to help our babies in the NICU.”

Mothers’ Milk Bank of Tennessee, which opened in November 2021, collects, pasteurizes and distributes breast milk. The state-of-the-art pasteurization facility has the capacity to pasteurize thousands of ounces of breast milk monthly.

According to studies, the use of human donor milk for low birth weight babies can provide better outcomes and help prevent deadly intestinal infections, which is the leading cause of death for premature infants.

“Donated breast milk can help the most medically fragile babies,” said Bruce Campbell with Mothers’ Milk Bank of Tennessee. “We are thrilled to begin working with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to provide this potentially life-saving resource to such a vulnerable population.”

There are many options for mothers to donate milk, and the hope is that local moms see the benefit of helping the babies in their local NICUs and hospitals that desperately need it.

“If a mother donates 100 ounces of breast milk, she is potentially providing 300 meals for premature babies,” said Attarian, who is also a breastfeeding medicine specialist. “It is extremely important to make sure that our vulnerable infant population receives as much human milk as we can provide. We are so grateful for the community of donors who help support our NICU families through the gift of their milk.”

Those interested in donating should check out the donation guidelines and process.