HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Shortages have impacted industries nationwide; more recently, a shortage hospitals and mothers have experienced over the last year – breast milk.
Mother’s Milk Bank of Alabama is a non-profit organization that collects and delivers milk to hospitals across the state. Donated milk is delivered to babies in the NICU whose moms cannot produce enough.
The organization received an abundance of milk in 2020 as the pandemic started, but in 2021 their banks were dangerously low.
So, mothers who have an oversupply of breast milk can complete a screening process and blood test then donate their excess milk. That milk is stored in Birmingham where it is pasteurized, then tested for bacteria before being dispensed to hospitals.
CEO Kristina Habchi says this process ensures babies get healthy milk as many of them are in the NICU or are struggling with other health problems. “Most milk donated right now is going to hospitals in their neonatal intensive care unit. A lot of the babies are premature and a lot of them are experiencing immunological diseases. Because of the high stresses of the NICU environment, a lot of moms aren’t able to produce enough milk.”
When banks have enough milk, they also deliver to babies in the hospital who are not in the NICU and families in the community.
Anyone interested in donating can apply here.