SANTA BARBARA - When babies are born premature, their mothers sometimes cannot produce enough milk. Breast milk is vital in providing protection for fragile, premature infants.
On Friday, October 20, from 9 am to 1 pm, Cottage Children’s Medical Center will host a breast milk donor drive for nursing moms to donate breast milk for babies who are patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
For more than four years, Cottage has been working with the Mother’s Milk Bank (MMB) of San Jose to help supply donated breast milk. Mother’s Milk Bank, one of only four breast milk banks in the nation and the only one on the West Coast, needs help from nursing moms in order to maintain the available supply of breast milk.
Donor milk is vital for premature babies who are born at an extremely low weight of less than 1800 grams. In these cases, the mothers are not able to produce enough milk for their babies.
Extremely premature infants are at high risk for getting an infection, called necrotizing enterocolitis, which can destroy the colon and bowel and potentially lead to death. Very low weight premature babies usually will require donor milk for several weeks and sometimes months.
The donor milk drive will be held in the Women’s Services Conference Room at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Please enter the hospital at 400 W. Pueblo St., Santa Barbara. Nursing moms can learn about breast milk donation, get screened to be a donor, and also bring their donations of properly stored milk.