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Health & Wellness

Donating to Make a Difference

By Lafayette General Medical Center
August 5, 2019

Did you know pasteurized donor human breast milk can save a baby’s life?

Research shows preemies who are fed human milk avoid serious medical complications.  One in eight babies are born premature, yet half of the mothers of preemies are not able to provide their baby breast milk.  A mother’s milk has Omega 3 fatty acids for powerful brain growth and development.

In 2017, Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) opened the first milk bank depot in Southwest Louisiana.  In one year, 24 donors donated over 23,702 ounces of donor breast milk.

Jamie Vead, of Maurice, has donated 8,082 ounces to the milk depot at LGMC.

“I’m a big proponent of breastfeeding,” said Jamie Vead.  “I’m very fortunate to produce so much that it got to a point where my freezer was full.  So, I found out about the milk depot.  LGMC had a need and I had a need, so it was a perfect fit.”

The demand for human donor breast milk in hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) continues to rise across the country.

“I was very fortunate that when my sons were born, they were both born healthy without any complications,” said Jamie.  “I asked myself, ‘If I would have been a mom whose child was sick or did have complications, would I want someone to step in and help my child if I wasn’t able to?’ It’s kind of like paying it forward to help others.”

The milk bank depot at LGMC gives lactating mothers a convenient drop-off location for their donation.  The depot is serviced by Mother’s Milk Bank at Austin (MMBA).  Nonprofit milk banks like MMBA ensure donor human breast milk is safe and available to the infants who need it most.

“When you have a three year old and an infant, it isn’t exactly easy to tote them around plus an ice chest of milk,” said Jamie.  “Darlene made dropping of my donations so simple.  I called when I was 10 minutes away, and when I pulled up at the hospital and she was right there at the door waiting for me. I didn’t even have to get out of the car.”

Collection sites like LGMC are called ‘depots’ because they function as a user-friendly and safe satellite storage facility.  The milk is kept frozen before it is shipped to MMBA for pasteurization.

If you would like to become a registered donor, visit our page for qualification and information on beginning the screening process.

For more information or to make a donation, call Darlene Leblanc, RN, Lactation Consultant at (337) 289-7785.