Milk Depot

Clark County’s First Human Milk Depot at the Clark County Health Department Will Help Babies throughout Illinois and Wisconsin

Clark County Health Department is proud to be the home of Clark County’s first human milk depot.

Pasteurized donor human milk is an important nutritional therapy for many at-risk Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) babies, as it provides numerous benefits in the absence of the mother’s milk, including infection-fighting factors, active growth and development hormones, improved digestion and ideal nutrition. While the health department supports breastfeeding whenever possible, donor milk can be used when the mother has a low milk supply, is ill or on certain medications, or in cases of adoption or surrogacy.

The milk depot at the Clark County Health Department collects human milk donations from healthy, lactating women who are approved donors through Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. The donations are then sent to the milk bank, where they are pasteurized to eliminate any viruses and bacteria. After pasteurization, the milk is tested once again for safety and distributed to hospitals.

“Rigorous safety protocols ensure that pasteurized donor human milk is safe when it’s provided from a milk bank that adheres to guidelines from the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Potential donors are blood tested and thoroughly screened for communicable diseases, activities that increase the risk of blood borne diseases, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, and medications,” says Summer Kelly, Executive Director of Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. “Milk collected from Clark County Health Department’s milk depot will help support the complex nutritional needs of sick and premature babies in Illinois and Wisconsin.”

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