NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A New Orleans area hospital has opened the first human milk bank in the state.
Ochsner Baptist is the home of Mothers' Milk Bank of Louisiana
The milk bank accepts donated human milk following a detailed screening process of a lactating woman. The milk is then given to infants who are born prematurely and are unfortunately unable to receive enough milk from their birth mother due to maternal conditions.
Infants born prematurely usually require a hospital to stay and grow.
The milk is exceptionally beneficial for these preterm infants, as it contains numerous bioactive immune components, essential proteins and fats which are not present in commercially made formula, according to Ochsner.
Donated milk is pasteurized then cultured so that it is safe to offer to babies with specific medical needs.
"If we wish to impact and decrease infant mortality in our state, then the ability to provide human milk for all babies in need is crucial," said Harley Ginsberg, MD, Section Head of Neonatology and Medical Director of Neonatal Intensive Care at Ochsner Baptist. "Research has shown that our most vulnerable patients, critically ill newborns, benefit exponentially from mothers' milk."