Milk donations for 2020

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Pregnancy is one of the most difficult things a woman can experience. However, the challenges don’t end after birth. Sometimes new mothers discover they can’t produce enough milk or none at all. This common occurrence can cause anxiety and feelings of failure. Every mother should have the support and the milk depot at Tri-County Health Care helps them make milk donations.

Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies

Labor and Delivery Supervisor Sarah Riedel has managed milk donations in partnership with Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies. The Golden Valley based organization provides donated milk to mothers in need. Tri-County Health Care is a donation site and Sarah is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant responsible for receiving donations. Since the start of the milk depot, Riedel has overseen donations from all over Minnesota. She knows from firsthand experience how important it is for newborns to receive breast milk.

Naomi Horn donated 1660 ounces of milk in 2020

Naomi Horn: 1,660 ounces

The milk depot received 5,080 ounces of donated milk in 2020. 1,660 ounces came from a single donor. Naomi has three children and knows how important good milk is for a growing baby. She was always blessed with an abundant supply of milk, so much that she threw out excess milk with her first two children. She vowed to do things differently with her youngest, Moriah.

Naomi experienced many issues feeding Moriah; she wouldn’t take the bottle. After four months of trying different bottles, nipples, and temperatures, Moriah finally took the bottle. Naomi produced so much milk in the meantime that she filled two large freezers. Not wanting to waste any milk, she contacted Tri-County Health Care and Sarah Riedel for assistance. In only a few months, she saw her donation drive away. Since she donated so much, a representative from the milk bank personally came to her home and picked up the donation.

Liquid Gold

“It’s liquid gold,” said Naomi about her milk. With her third child, she didn’t waste a drop. She discussed the pressure on women to produce milk. She wants to remind everyone that raising children is a delicate process, and if you can’t produce milk, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother. Services like the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies exist to help. Naomi also encourages mothers that produce excess milk to donate. She described donating as incredibly rewarding and an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Donating milk is easy and rewarding.

How to donate

If you find that you’re producing excess milk, it may be wise to consult a doctor before donating. After that, contact a donation site like Tri-County Health Care. After filling out the paperwork, a representative from the milk bank will contact you for a phone screen. From there, you will provide health history information and go through testing. After approval from the milk bank, you will be given a donor number. This donor number needs to be placed on the milk container. The last step is to schedule a date with a drop off site.

To learn more or donate milk at Tri-County Health Care, please visit our Milk Depot page or contact Sarah Riedel at 218-632-8741.


Breast Milk Depot Offers Convenient Way to Donate

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When Stacy Kinnen, of Bemidji, began researching a way to donate a surplus of her breast milk, the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies (MMBB) directed her to Tri-County Health Care’s Milk Depot. The Milk Depot, which opened in January, sent its first shipment to the milk bank last week and will be scheduling another in the near future after Stacy drove an hour and a half to donate 1,500 ounces of milk.Breast Milk Donor Stacy Kinnen stands next to Sarah Reidel, OB supervisor along with a cart full of breast milk she donated to babies in need.

This milk is vitally important for premature and sick babies, who are more vulnerable to infections if they are fed formula. Research from the United States Food and Drug Administration shows that preterm babies fed human milk from screened donors have fewer infections, less severe complications and shorter hospitalizations, allowing families to be reunited sooner. There are also times when a mother is unable to produce enough breast milk to feed her baby. When this happens, donor milk can provide the benefits necessary to help babies grow and thrive.

That is why Tri-County Health Care’s partnership with the MMBB is a valuable asset for mothers looking to donate their extra breast milk to share their gift with an infant in need.

“The mothers are thrilled to make a difference because they all can relate to the fear of having a sick or ill baby when they’re pregnant or giving birth,” said Sarah Riedel, Tri-County Health Care OB Supervisor, RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST. “They take pride in doing what they can to help mothers with premature or sick babies and aid them during a stressful time.”

Tri-County Health Care’s Milk Depot is the most northern location in central Minnesota, making it convenient for mothers to make a donation. There have been inquiring donors from as far as Thief River Falls, which is two and a half hours away.

The first shipment of donor milk was recently sent to the milk bank and a second isn’t far behind after Stacy’s donation. People are invited to call Sarah with any questions regarding how they can donate to the milk depot.Angel Flight pilot received breast milk donation from Tri-County Health Care to take back to the Minnesota Milk Bank For Babies.

“I thought when we opened, it would be mothers in our area looking to donate. Now we have donors driving hours to be able to support these babies in need,” Sarah said. “Any mothers interested in donating can call me with questions. I am more than happy to help them through the process.”

What is the donation process?

  1. To sign up to be a donor, contact the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies at mnmilkbank.org, email info@mnmilkbank.org or call 763-546-8051.
  2. Complete a verbal screening. You will speak to the donor coordinator and answer some health and lifestyle questions. You will talk about your diet, pump patterns and overall health.
  3. Complete a written screening form. All donors will complete a written application that asks for details about their health and household. Once the completed documents are signed and received, MMBB will contact your provider for approval.
  4. MMBB will cover the cost of blood testing and arrange this for you. You may have the test done at Tri-County Health Care. Call 218-631-3510 to make an appointment.
  5. Once approved, you will receive a Donor ID. This means you are ready to drop off milk. Contact Tri-County Health Care’s lactation consultant, Sarah Riedel, RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST at 218-632-8741 to set up an appointment to drop off your frozen milk or if you have any questions.

Donating breast milk made easy

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Human milk is vitally important for premature and sick babies, who are more vulnerable to infections if they are fed formula. However, sometimes a mother can’t produce enough breast milk to feed her baby. There are a number of reasons why this might be, but when it happens, donor milk can provide the benefits necessary to help babies grow and thrive. It can also help bridge the gap until the mother is capable of Milk Depot For Babies logo for breast milk donationproducing enough on her own. Research from the United States Food and Drug Administration shows that preterm babies fed human milk from screened donors have fewer infections, less severe complications and shorter hospitalizations, allowing families to be reunited sooner.

Tri-County Health Care recently partnered with the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies to offer a breast milk depot, making it possible for mothers with extra breast milk to share the gift with an infant in need.

Safety comes first when donating milk. That’s why every donating mother is screened by a phone interview, written application and blood tests prior to donation. All tests are free for the mother.

 

What is the donation process?

  1. To sign up to be a donor, contact the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies at mnmilkbank.org, email info@mnmilkbank.org or call 763-546-8051.
  2. Complete a verbal screening. You will speak to the donor coordinator and answer some health and lifestyle questions. You will talk about your diet, pump patterns and overall health.
  3. Complete a written screening form. All donors will complete a written application that asks for details about their health and household. Once the completed documents are signed and received, MMBB will contact your provider for approval.
  4. MMBB will cover the cost of blood testing and arrange this for you. You may have the test done at TCHC. Call 218-631-3510 to make an appointment.
  5. Once approved, you will receive a Donor ID. This means you are ready to drop off milk. Contact TCHC’s lactation consultant, Sarah Riedel, RN, IBCLC, at 218-632-8741 to set up an appointment to drop off your frozen milk.

Smiling mother with sleeping newborn son on shoulder.Who receives donor milk?

Donor milk is given by prescription primarily to babies born prematurely or who are suffering from illness. Common reasons for prescribing donor milk include premature birth, failure to thrive, formula intolerance, food allergies, malabsorption syndromes, immunologic deficiencies, pre- or post-operative nutrition and immunologic support.

What is the difference between a human donor milk bank and milk depot?

A milk depot is a convenient place where mothers can bring their extra milk to donate for other babies. That milk is then transported to a milk bank for processing and distribution.

Is donor milk safe?

In addition to mothers being pre-screened before they donate, the frozen donor milk goes through an in-depth pasteurization process to kill bacteria and ensure it is safe for babies to drink.

Donor Requirements

  • Non-smoking household
  • Store milk in clean, food grade containers
  • Milk stored less than 12 months
  • Plan to donate at least 100 ounces to the milk bank

For questions or more information, visit tchc.org/milkdepot or call Sarah Riedel, RN, IBCLC, at 218-632-8741.