Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport in need of breast milk donors
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Right now, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is looking for mothers to donate their breast milk to help replenish the state’s supply for premature babies.
Officials say about 13% of babies born in Louisiana are premature; breast milk provides those babies with nutrients needed to keep them safe from various infections that could kill them. It also helps with their overall growth and development.
“Many studies have shown the importance of breast milk diets for babies,” said Dr. Maria Dominguez, pediatric neonatologist at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport - St. Mary Medical Center. “Breastfed babies have a decreased risk of respiratory infections. They have fewer ear infections and fewer gastrointestinal infections. They also have a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).”
Some studies have shown that breast milk help with brain development in premature babies.
Anyone interested in donating breast milk should first make sure they are producing enough milk to feed their own child. Those interested should call 504-703-6455. Prospective donors will get a packet in the mail with paperwork to fill out and submit. Prospective donors must also undergo a free blood screening. Once approved, donors will get specific instructions about how to donate.
Back in March of 2021, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport - St. Mary Medical Center became a milk depot to make things easier for donors. The donated milk is transferred to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana at Ochsner Baptist in New Orleans. There, the milk is tested and pasteurized before it’s sent to hospitals around the state to be given to premature babies.
Since its opening in 2018, the milk bank in New Orleans has dispensed nearly 1,500 gallons of milk across the state for babies who need it. Meanwhile, the milk depot in Shreveport has collected around 12,000 ounces of breast milk since opening in 2021, officials say.
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