The demand for human donor milk in hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICU) continues to rise across the country. There is no greater gift to the family of a fragile NICU baby than donor breast milk. A significant number of premature mothers are not always able to breastfeed, this is when donated human breast milk is the next best option. Breast milk donations are considered medicinal. It contains antibodies to fight disease and infection, while also protecting against allergies.
Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center is the first milk bank depot in southwest Louisiana and the third breast milk donation depot in the state, where approved donors can bring their frozen breast milk. All donated milk will be sent to Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana, where it is processed and pasteurized. The breast milk will then be sent to hospitals across Louisiana, who need milk for their fragile babies.
How can I donate to the Ochsner Lafayette General Milk Bank?
If you are already a registered breast milk donor, Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center provides a drive through drop off option for your convenience. If you are not a registered donor, but wish to become one, please follow the steps below to begin the donor screening process. Once screening is complete, donors will be able to begin making their donations upon receipt of their ID number.
Milk Donation Drop Off Information:
- Drive through drop off is available from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) at the front entrance of Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center at 1214 Coolidge Street.
- Please call Darlene Leblanc, RN, IBCLC, RLC, at 337-289-7785 or 337-289-7782 prior to your drop off.
- All milk needs to be clearly labeled with the dates pumped and donor’s name and ID number.
- Frozen milk containers grouped into grocery bags should have an ID card in the bag.
What is the Milk Donation Screening Process?
STEP 1 – Complete a 10-15 minute phone screening after the Milk Bank receives your registration form.
STEP 2 – Complete and return an informational packet.
STEP 3 – Have a blood test done. (At the expense of the Milk Bank)
STEP 4 – Once your paperwork and lab results are received, the Director of the Milk Bank calls you with your approval status.
Who can donate milk?
You are a good candidate if you’re a mother who is currently (or just recently) lactating and has surplus milk, and if you are:
- In good general health
- Willing to undergo a blood test (at MMBA’s expense)
- Not taking supplements or other certain medications
- Nursing an infant who is less than one year of age (bereaved or surrogate mothers are also eligible to donate)
You are not eligible to donate milk if:
- You have a positive blood test result for HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B or C, or Syphilis
- You or your sexual partner is at risk for HIV
- You use illegal drugs
- You smoke or use tobacco products
- You have received an organ or tissue transplant or a blood transfusion in the last six months
- You regularly have more than two alcoholic drinks per day
- Between 1980-1996, you were in the United Kingdom for more than three months or in Europe for more than five years
The approval process can take 1-4 weeks, depending on how quickly you return your paperwork and how soon the Milk Bank receives your lab work and completed health forms from your healthcare provider.
Other Depot Sites
There are currently three milk depot drop off sites in Louisiana:
Birth Center of Baton Rouge
7941 Picardy Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Accepts donations Monday and Friday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Ochsner Baptist Medical Center
2700 Napoleon Ave., (2nd floor Jena garage valet)
New Orleans, LA 70115
Accepts donations from 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday – Friday (excluding holidays)
For more information on the process of donating milk, check out the Mothers’ Milk Bank website.