MOUNT VERNON (WSIL) — Healthy mothers willing to donate breast milk can now do so at a new Human Milk Depot in Mount Vernon.
The facility opened for business Monday morning in partnership with the Jefferson County Health Department. Donations are being accepted from healthy, lactating women who qualify to donate based on standards from the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes.
"Breast milk helps babies thrive," Jamie Spells said, a certified lactation counselor. "Not just NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] babies, not just preterm babies, but for any baby." Spells said.
Donations are sent to the milk bank, where they are pasteurized to eliminate potential viruses and/or bacteria. The milk is tested again before its sent to hospitals.
"The longer a baby or child receives breast milk, the more benefits there are." Spells said.
Donations to Mount Vernon’s Human Milk Depot will benefit hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin. Mothers with low milk supply, illness, taking certain medications, or having a child through adoptions or surrogacy may seek such resources.
Earlier this year, a similar facility opened its doors in Carbondale.