Fitness & NutritionHealthcare Tips

Hancock is Helping New Mothers and Babies Through The Milk Bank

January 31, 2024

Hancock Health is passionate about the health of mothers and babies in Hancock County. We are constantly striving to ensure the best outcomes possible within our hospital and beyond its walls. When it comes to feeding a newborn, whether a mother chooses formula or her own milk, we want to make sure we support her decision and provide adequate access for those in need throughout Central Indiana. That is why we are a Milk Bank Depot.

Expanding the safe use of human milk for babies

Many mothers choose to breastfeed, but sometimes that isn’t possible or they may need some help ensuring their baby is getting enough. Whether it is because of prematurity or illness or a mother needs help supplementing her supply, The Milk Bank strives to be a pioneer in expanding the safe use of human milk for babies.

Human milk, aka liquid gold, is the perfect nutrition for human babies and, especially for babies that may be at-risk, it is full of priceless protection. It contains just the right amount of nutrients and is gentle for a developing baby’s digestive system as well as other vital organs. At-risk babies, such as those that are ill or premature, are more susceptible to infections in the gut and other places in the body and human milk can help to protect their tiny immune systems. It also contains hormones that help stimulate a baby’s growth

How does it work?

Human milk means the chance to thrive for sick babies. The Milk Bank offers “depots” or places to drop off pumped breast milk so it can get into the hands of parents who want their baby to have human milk but cannot supply it (or enough of it) themselves. Hancock Health is a Milk Bank Depot, creating an accessible spot for those in our community to donate their breast milk to help others. Milk is regularly collected by The Milk Bank and then processed for safety.

Safety protocols are an important measure in making sure human milk is available and safe for the tiniest, sickest babies to consume. The Milk Bank follows strict screening, processing and dispensing guidelines established by The Human Milk Banking Association of North America. This includes knowing lifestyle and medical histories of donors and blood testing to ensure safety. Donated milk is pasteurized to kill any bacteria or viruses.

If you would like to be a donor, head to The Milk Bank website today to begin your application! For those in need of milk, you can go to the website and click on “request milk” to begin the request process.

Hancock Health is here for parents and their babies

Not only are we one of the only Milk Depots east of Indianapolis, but Hancock Health has also earned the coveted baby-friendly designation, along with the Leapfrog Hospital Safety A Grade. Our commitment to ensuring the best practices for breastfeeding success means we have the capability to support mothers who decide to breastfeed their babies, including understanding the importance of lactation help, skin-to-skin contact, rooming-in, providing ongoing support and more.

Whether you are pregnant and hoping to breastfeed or you are a pro who has some extra liquid gold, learning more about your options through The Milk Bank is a great way to ensure your baby’s health and wellness right from the start. Ask your Hancock Health provider for more information about breastfeeding and The Milk Bank.

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