Mothers' Milk Bank for Healthy Babies

by Joelle Lester | Apr 03, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

To address the health and nutrition needs of pre-term newborns, full-term newborns and infants in Saint Paul, I propose establishing a donor human milk bank. A milk bank is a non-profit service established to collect, screen, process, and distribute donated human milk primarily to premature and sick babies whose mothers do not have enough milk for their babies.

Breast milk is critical to newborn health and provides a healthy foundation for the future, including decreased risk of infant morbidity, lower respiratory infections, asthma, and obesity. Breast milk is the best nutrition for infants and includes components such as proteins, fats, vitamins and carbohydrates that fight infection and promote health. Human milk banks collect and distribute donated human milk to provide nutrition for infants in need. Infants born prematurely or with health problems face are especially vulnerable, and may experience an increased risk for feeding intolerance as a result of immaturity or dysfunction. Today, when babies in Saint Paul require donated milk, they must wait for human milk to arrive from milk banks in Ohio or Colorado.

The shortage of available donor human milk is due to a general lack of awareness of need and a very small pool of potential donors, which is limited to lactating women who pass the medical clearance and also have additional milk they are able and willing to express, store and transfer to their milk bank regularly. Being a human milk donor takes time, effort and dedication, all on a volunteer basis.

About You

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About You

First Name

Joelle

Last Name

Lester

City

Saint Paul

County

Ramsey

Country

United States, ME

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

Internet

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Organization Website

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Organization Address

City

Organization Country

United States

Your idea

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Title of your idea

Mothers' Milk Bank for Healthy Babies

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

To address the health and nutrition needs of pre-term newborns, full-term newborns and infants in Saint Paul, I propose establishing a donor human milk bank. A milk bank is a non-profit service established to collect, screen, process, and distribute donated human milk primarily to premature and sick babies whose mothers do not have enough milk for their babies.
Breast milk is critical to newborn health and provides a healthy foundation for the future, including decreased risk of infant morbidity, lower respiratory infections, asthma, and obesity. Breast milk is the best nutrition for infants and includes components such as proteins, fats, vitamins and carbohydrates that fight infection and promote health. Human milk banks collect and distribute donated human milk to provide nutrition for infants in need. Infants born prematurely or with health problems face are especially vulnerable, and may experience an increased risk for feeding intolerance as a result of immaturity or dysfunction. Today, when babies in Saint Paul require donated milk, they must wait for human milk to arrive from milk banks in Ohio or Colorado.
The shortage of available donor human milk is due to a general lack of awareness of need and a very small pool of potential donors, which is limited to lactating women who pass the medical clearance and also have additional milk they are able and willing to express, store and transfer to their milk bank regularly. Being a human milk donor takes time, effort and dedication, all on a volunteer basis.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

There is currently no non-profit human milk bank in Minnesota and most people are unaware of both the possibility of pasteurizing and distributing human milk and the need for that milk. Despite the noted benefits, many infants do not receive breast milk. In current practice, the primary alternative for infants who are not breastfed is formula. However, these infants would benefit most from breast milk. In addition, the specialized formula required by premature or sick newborns is very expensive. Donated human milk is the best alternative for both health and economic reasons.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Nonprofit milk banking provides needed nutrition to sick and premature infants at far lower cost than specialized formula. It promotes health and saves money, an ideal outcome for families and the hospitals providing care. Once it is up and running, the milk bank could operate by charging minimal fees for the processing costs. Today, when babies in Saint Paul require donated milk, they must wait for human milk to arrive from milk banks in Ohio or Colorado. Just as hospitals require a constant and reliable supply of carefully screened and safely obtained blood products, there is also a need for carefully screened and safely obtained banked human milk when the mother's milk is not available.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

A donor milk bank will serve St. Paul but also all of Minnesota and potentially beyond. In addition helping premature and ill babies, a milk bank in St. Paul could work with milk depot sites around the state and region to educate people about donated human milk and to collect milk donations outside of St. Paul. Nonprofit milk banking less expensive than the specialized formula provided to sick infants. It promotes health and saves money, an ideal outcome for families and hospitals. Once up and running, the milk bank could be self-sustaining by charging minimal fees for the processing costs.

bhjhgj hgjjg said: Yes that is true. It will also let the infant stay away from any health problems. - YOR Health Products about this Competition Entry. - 2628 days ago read more >

Joelle Lester updated this Competition Entry. - 2852 days ago

Joelle Lester submitted this idea. - 2852 days ago