Aspirus breast milk program helps bridge gap for families struggling to feed their babies
WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Since 2013, Aspirus Hospitals in Wausau and Stevens Point have helped families struggling to feed their babies with its breast milk program.
Aspirus Wausau Hospital and Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital have collected a total of 11,000 pounds of donated milk, which equates more than 1,300 gallons of milk. The two hospitals serve as donation depot centers for The Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes.
The Mother’s Milk Bank is located near Chicago, where the donated breast milk is taken. It then gets pasteurized and tested. But Aspirus has helped make it easier for mothers looking to donate by having drop-off sites located across its system throughout the state.
“Oftentimes, it’ll go through to NICUs, and hospitals to help their babies who are really struggling. So our NICU actually in Wausau does purchase the donated breast milk to help those babies in the NICU. So it’s pretty cool how that milk can originate from north central Wisconsin and actually come back to our NICUs,” the RN care coordinator at Aspirus Women’s Health, Chris Bletsoe said.
The Mother’s Milk Bank is responsible for getting the milk to the families and babies who need it most. Bletsoe said the program has helped especially during the formula shortage.
“I think we’re really fortunate that we’ve had a lot of what I call super producers in this area, who have been wonderful about donating their oversupply to this program. You know, just the amount of babies that they can help support by their donation is incredible,” she said.
Mothers who are interested in becoming a donor are screened for eligibility and can call 715-847-0454 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to learn more about the program and donation sites.
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