Hospital is one of First in Nation to Provide Donated, Processed Human Milk to Well Infants; Part of Woodland Healthcare’s Commitment to Healthier Moms and Babies
Woodland, CA, August 14, 2012 – Woodland Memorial Hospital has become one of the first hospitals in the nation to make donated, processed human breast milk available to well newborns as part of their ongoing effort to provide the healthiest care environment for mothers and infants. “Research has shown that if a mother is not able to provide her own milk for her baby, donated, processed human milk is a healthier choice than formula,” explains Elli Olson, Vice President Nursing/Chief Nurse Executive at Woodland Healthcare. While many hospitals keep donated breast milk on hand, it is typically reserved for at-risk infants or those receiving care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “Here at Woodland Memorial we are making our Mother’s Milk Bank available to every baby because we feel so strongly about the remarkable and important health benefits of human milk.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control all recommend that infants under six months of age consume human milk, exclusively. These organizations have found that human milk provides the best possible nutrition for infants, including protection against many infant, childhood and adult diseases including immune disorders, Diabetes Type 1 and obesity. Donated, processed human milk offers all of the benefits of a mother’s own breast milk, including optimal nutrition, easy digestibility and growth factors to promote maturation and healing of tissues, immunologic protection and infection fighting components.
“We believe that if we can encourage moms to give any breast milk – their own or donated, processed milk - to their baby while they are in the hospital, their babies will have a good head start to a healthier childhood,” explains Ricci Ros, Family Birth Place Director at Woodland Healthcare. When a medical need for supplementation arises, Woodland Memorial will provide donated, processed human milk. “We support each mother’s right to bottle feed. We just encourage them to put breast milk in the bottle.”
Woodland Memorial has long been recognized as a leader in providing the healthiest possible care environment for mothers and their newborn infants. Woodland Memorial is a Baby Friendly Hospital, as recognized by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. This distinction recognizes Woodland Memorial’s commitment to the highest level of care for their Family Birth Place patients, including assistance with lactation and feeding. Woodland Memorial’s specially-trained lactation consultants are available to provide support and education seven days a week to patients and are also available for assistance should difficulties arise after mother and baby go home.
Woodland Memorial receives its donated, processed human milk from the Mother’s Milk Bank at Valley Medical Center, in San Jose – a licensed tissue bank that has been providing this service since 1974 and has provided more than 1.5 million ounces of donated human milk to help babies survive and thrive. Women donating their breast milk must be healthy and undergo thorough screening. Donated milk is pasteurized and tested to ensure its safety. Themilk is shipped frozen and is carefully handled and labeled. Donated, processed human milk has been proven to be safe for infant feeding and has never been linked to a documented transmission of disease or illness.
“We are very proud of our Mother’s Milk Bank,” says Ros. “In the past, mothers who were diligently trying to breastfeed but encountered difficulties did not have any alternatives other than formula. Now, by providing donated human milk, we can offer all babies born at Woodland a healthier start.”