Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Breast milk donations

by Katelyn Kasella | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | June 14th, 2017

A one-day old infant lies in her mother’s arms at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Mary’s Children’s hospital in Duluth, Minn. The mother, still recovering from an emergency C-section, feeds the child a bottle.

However, the infant is not drinking her mother’s breast milk from the bottle. Nor is she drinking formula. The infant is drinking the breast milk of a stranger.

Jaclyn Haak, a lactation consultant at Sanford Health, said in her experience, donated breast milk is used multiple times in the NICU for multiple infants on any given day.

“If mom is working on establishing her supply but baby is in the NICU needing more food than she is able to provide, we use donor milk,” Haak said. “Breast milk is much easier for infants to digest, specifically with the premature population as their intestines are incredibly fragile.”

Haak explained that using breast milk instead of formula also drastically decreases the chances of an infant getting necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that can be fatal for infants.

Milk is usually donated by women who have more milk than their baby needs, or women who lost their babies, Haak said.

For Kayla Torgerson, a mother from Beulah, N.D., it was because she was producing more than her daughter needed.

“Lots of moms for many reasons want to provide their child with breast milk, but aren’t able to, so why wouldn’t I want to help out?,” Torgerson said.

Togerson donated with her first child, and is currently donating again.

Women who choose to donate breast milk can either donate directly to other women or go through a milk bank of her choice, Haak said.

There are currently 18 milk banks in the United State, and the closest one to Minnesotais in Iowa. However, one is in the process of being formed in Rogers, Minn.

If going through a milk bank, a woman has lab work drawn to prove she doesn’t have any communicable diseases or is taking any medication that can affect the milk, Haak said.

The woman will then ship the milk to a milk bank, where it will be pooled with milk from five different donors, pasteurized, then packaged into bottles. Milk coming from mothers with premature babies is put into two-ounce bottles, while milk coming from mothers of full-term infants is placed into four-ounce bottles.

“The milk is held at the milk bank until an order is placed,” Haak said. “Typically, a hospital NICU would be ordering, but individuals can order if they have a physician prescription.”

The process of donating directly to another woman is done frequently through Facebook groups like “Eats on Feets” and “Human Milk 4 Human Babies.” Like many women, Kayla Torgerson chose to donate directly for the convenience. However, direct donation does not come without risks.

“With informal milk sharing, there is no screening in place,” Haak said.

Whichever route a woman takes, her milk is stored in sterilized plastic bags in a freezer before being distributed.

If given directly to another woman, self-distribution is the end of the milk-sharing journey. If the milk is at a milk bank, it is shipped to the individual or facility that needs it and sells for approximately $4 an ounce, Haak said. The cost of the milk does not compensate the donor, but covers shipping and lab work.

Whichever way of donating that a woman may choose to do, it is undoubtedly appreciated by mothers throughout the country.

“The need for donated breast milk is high, and it continues to rise,” Haak said.

Recently in:

BISMARCK – The Dakota Access Pipeline developer agreed to plant trees to reach a settlement over two misconduct allegations while constructing the pipeline on Wednesday. A total of 20,000 trees are to be planted by December 31,…

photo by Meg Luther Lindholm.Ibtissem (pronounced Ib-tiss-em) Belmihoub is both enjoying her time in Fargo as a doctoral student in Rhetoric, Writing and Culture at NDSU and a community volunteer. She is currently the Project…

Wed-Fri, September 27-29, 8pm; Sat-Sun, 2pmComstock Theatre, Concordia College, 901 8th St S, MoorheadIt is October, 1517, at Wittenberg University in northern Germany, where students and faculty begin another academic year. A…

Our opinion: We’re more than the sum of our partsOver the weekend I was telling a friend of mine that one of the most valuable things a person can gain in life is perspective. My time at the High Plains Reader has gifted me just…

What kind of characters would charge $99 for a case of water?In the days before the solar eclipse safety glasses sold for $8.95 for a five-pack of certified glasses. The day before the eclipse the price was raised to $59. During…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Brand new and satisfying in so many waysI ventured into Tru Blu on Sunday at noon. As soon as I entered I was immediately astonished by the interior. It’s gorgeous! The brown tufted booths and dark wood give the impression that…

Fall is arriving, and that of course means that the new season of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra’s “Masterworks” series sponsored by Sanford Health is right around the corner.In the last couple concert seasons they…

Rom-coms are a staple of modern movies and have been for well over a century. This summer two very different variations on the genre spotlighting iconic 20th-century superstars made their Blu-ray debuts from Kino-Lorber. One is a…

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This nonprofit organization described their mission as “To identify students with their exceptional artistic and literary talent and…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Up here where it’s north of normal, we can pretty much count on our first cold snap to hit right about now, and the 90 degree day we JUST HAD seems like a distant memory. Goodbye pool parties, BBQs and the patio hang sesh. Hello…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Robert Franklin, Esq.parents@nationalparentsorganization.orgIn North Dakota, a child’s chances of spending meaningful time with each parent following divorce have less to do with his parents than what county they divorce…