On July 3, 2015, Medical City Las Colinas's Nursery/NICU team open their first bottle of donor breast milk.
We get the donor milk from Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas. Each donor is screened thorough a vigorous process, including blood work analysis, by the milk bank. The donors are not paid, nor do they receive any incentive to donate their milk. If the donor meets the criteria to become a donor, they are then handed sterile supplies to begin the collection process. The donated milk goes through a pasteurization and sterilization process for safety reasons, while still preserving the milks nutritional composition. The milk is tested throughout the entire process, including a bacterial culture after the entire process has been completed to make sure there are no harmful bacteria left in the milk. The milk bank follows strict guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, FDA, and state regulations.
At Medical City Las Colinas, if I place an order in the morning to the milk bank, I will receive the milk by that same afternoon. The milk is frozen and transported in sub-zero temperature containers. Once received at our facility, we open the package and place it directly into our NICU freezer until needed.
We offer the donor milk mostly to our preterm and/or lower birthweight NICU patients. Current research shows us that utilizing breastmilk as opposed to formula helps protect our preterm and low birthweight newborns from NEC, UTI, sepsis, obesity, diabetes, and food allergies. While we encourage our mothers to breastfeed for a multitude of reasons, but when mom is unable to do so for whatever reason, donor milk is an exceptional alternative. While our patients are in the hospital, we also offer donor milk to full-term newborns, for supplementation purposes, to mothers who have made the decision to exclusively breastfeed, but are experiencing temporary barriers. This allows the mother to focus on bonding with her newborn, without the added stress of her choice to exclusively breastfeed being compromised should any obstacles arise.
Ultimately, we want our patients to be safe, while also taking into account the families preferences. It can be challenging at times to overcome certain health related obstacles, but that’s what we are trained to do. Our goal is always to promote the highest quality of life possible. Bringing donor milk to Medical City Las Colinas allows us to better meet the needs of our patients that is consistent with the latest and greatest research. This product is truly a product that has a lifelong impact.
At Medical City Las Colinas, we also have a fully staffed Lactation Department with certified lactation consultants to assist our mom’s with lactation needs.