Hospital opens breast milk 'bank' for New Jersey mothers unable to breastfeed

Livingston, N.J.-based Saint Barnabas Medical Center opened a breast milk "bank" where nursing mothers can donate excess breast milk to those who need it, according to The Record.

 

After donor mothers deposit the milk, the medical center freezes it and sends it to Mother's Milk Bank Northeast, where it is pasteurized, tested for safety and shipped to hospitals in 13 states. Babies receive the banked milk by prescription only, and most insurers cover the cost of $3.97 per ounce.

The milk is especially important for babies born prematurely, as it helps them to fight infection and grow properly. Ten years ago, Saint Barnabas began providing all babies born at less than 33 weeks with only breast milk. The NICU has since seen a dramatic decline in rates of necrotizing enterocolitis, a digestive disease with a high mortality rate, from nearly 10 percent of babies to less than 2 percent.

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