MASON CITY, Iowa - Hospitals use milk banks to provide breast milk to babies in intensive care or who are born premature. Right now, it is in short supply in North Iowa.
"We need moms. If you have an abundance of milk at home and you feel like giving we definitely are in great need of donor milk,” said Nurse Kristin McHenry.
Last year, the hospital only had four mothers who were donating their milk. At MercyOne North Iowa in Mason City there is only a two week supply of milk for the infants under the hospital's care. The hospital is part of the Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa, distributing milk to hospitals across the state. As McHenry explains, having a ready supply of breast milk at the hospital is a matter of life or death for their youngest patients.
"Breast milk can actually help prevent gut infections, blood infections, cancer. It is vital for these at risk babies,” she said.
MercyOne North Iowa is a collection site for the milk bank. The milk is then taken to the bank where it is pasteurized and distributed out to hospitals across the state.
If you would like to become a breast milk donor, visit the website for Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa here. There is a screening process involved before you can begin donation.