By Deanna Bolio
On April 1, 2014 Stanford Blood Center’s Processing Laboratory welcomed Mothers’ Milk Bank as a new donor testing customer.
Mothers’ Milk Bank in San Jose is a charter member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America and was established in 1974 as San Jose Mothers’ Milk Bank in response to the need to provide donor milk to premature infants failing to thrive. They provide prescription donor human milk to 93 hospitals and hundreds of families in 13 states.
In 2013, Mothers’ Milk Bank distributed over 570,000 oz. of donor milk to preterm infants and children unable to digest other sources of nutrition. Demand continues to rise for breast milk as physicians and families recognize that breast milk not only helps babies get the best nutrition, but also provides critical antibodies and anti-bacterial benefits to infants. This is especially critical for premature babies and critically ill children who desperately need breast milk that may not be available to them from their mother.
Mothers’ Milk Bank donors are screened in much the same way as blood donors to ensure the safety of the breast milk supply. With each donation, donors are asked a series of questions and required infectious diseases donor screening tests are performed before their milk can be processed and distributed. Stanford Blood Center is excited to be moving forward with this new testing opportunity.