Pictured above: Pee Dee Region Nutritional Education Specialist Ellen Edens (left) and Nursing Site Supervisor Rhonda Windham oversee donation collection and deposits to the Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina.
By Mary-Kathryn Craft
Thanks to the generosity of breastfeeding moms and the help of state health department staff statewide, more babies in need will receive nourishing milk for a healthy start.
The Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina opened at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2015 to provide pasteurized human milk to hospitalized S.C. infants whose mother’s milk supply is limited. The program created a network of milk deposit sites across the state, including five DHEC locations, to make it easier for breastfeeding moms to donate their surplus milk.
The collaborative effort is off to a great start, and DHEC staff have already helped collect more than 4,000 ounces of milk for the Mother’s Milk Bank!
In January, the Pee Dee Region received its first donation and has since collected a total of 793 ounces through the Sumter County Health Department. The Lowcountry has collected more than 1,100 ounces at the Beaufort and Goose Creek locations. The Midlands’ total is 2,212 ounces, and in the Upstate team is continuing to promote the Spartanburg County depot site.
Mother’s milk is important for newborns, especially for premature, very low birth weight babies who are at higher risk for many serious health conditions. The Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina was created by various partners including the Medical University of South Carolina, the S.C. Neonatal Consortium and the S.C. Birth Outcomes Initiative. For more information, visit scmilkbank.org.