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March 7, 2019

CMMC becomes state's third depot for mother's milk donations

Courtesy / Central Maine Medical Center
Courtesy / Central Maine Medical Center
Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston has become the third location in Maine where women can drop off human milk donations for a regional milk bank that provides milk to premature and sick babies.

About Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast

Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast is a nonprofit community milk bank based in Newton, Mass., and accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. More than 85 hospitals in 13 states use the bank's milk in their neonatal intensive care units, special care nurseries and well-baby units. Families with preterm and full-term babies throughout the country order milk as well. Mothers who wish to donate milk can review guidelines on the milk bank website, then contact a donor intake coordinator for screening at 617-527-6263 extension 3 or donate@milkbankne.org.

LEWISTON — Central Maine Medical Center has become the third location in Maine where women can drop off human milk donations for a regional milk bank that provides milk to premature and sick babies.

The milk depot accepts milk from screened donors in partnership with Mothers Milk Bank Northeast, which is based in Newton, Mass., and has 24 donation depots in nine states.

Donors — generally mothers who are producing more milk than their baby needs — drop the milk off, and it is screened, pasteurized and tested, CMMC said in a news release Wednesday.

Other donation depots in Maine are Maine Medical Center in Portland and the Miles campus of Lincoln Health in Damariscotta.

Human milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants and is especially protective against a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis, which affects one in 10 of the smallest pre-term infants, the release said. Human breast milk is estimated to lower the risk of the condition by 79%. It also lowers hospital costs by reducing costs for care and shortening hospital stays.

"The presence of a milk depot signifies a deep commitment to the health and well-being of the most vulnerable members of the community — the fragile babies whose lives depend on safe, pasteurized donor milk," said Ann Marie Lindquist, director of Community Relations for Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast. "We are delighted to partner with Central Maine Medical Center to serve the community in this way."

Milk donor screening, modeled after blood donor screening, includes health history, physician approval, and a blood test, CMMC said in the news release. Milk from mothers who pass the screening is also pasteurized and tested by an independent lab to ensure safety before being dispensed to hospitals or families.

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