Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

MEMBER MOMENTS: Cape Cod Hospital Opens Donor Milk Depot

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The Family Birthplace at Cape Cod Hospital has partnered with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast to become an official donor milk depot.

A donor human milk depot is a community location where donors who have completed a comprehensive health screening can drop off extra milk that their babies do not need. The milk is then sent to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast where it is pasteurized and tested, and then dispensed to babies who need additional milk. The Cape depot location is the eighth in Massachusetts.

“Safe, pasteurized donor milk is a critical medical resource and one that requires the care, compassion and deep generosity of mothers lucky enough to have excess milk,” explains Deborah Youngblood, CEO of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. “Cape Cod families now have an even easier way to collectively care for fragile babies who need their help.”

Human milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants and has been proven to offer an array of health benefits to babies. It is especially protective against necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening condition that affects one-in-10 of the smallest preterm infants. While prioritized for medically fragile babies, these donations can be used as a bridge to breastfeeding for full-term healthy babies and are helpful for parents who choose to breastfeed but require supplementation as maternal milk supply is developing.

“This partnership and creation of a local milk depot signifies our deep commitment to the health and well-being of all families on Cape Cod,” explains Jennifer Lacasse, director of Women’s Health Services for Cape Cod Healthcare. “We are delighted to partner with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast to serve the community in this way.”