St. Joseph’s Hospital Introduces Donor Milk Program

HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM)- Donated breast milk is vital often for babies born prematurely. However, a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics also showed that level-one babies, also known as “well” babies, that have blood issues or Jaundice were five times more likely to be exclusively breastfed if offered donor milk. 

Nurses at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka believed in bringing these resources to mothers and their babies in Humboldt County. They recently partnered with San Jose Mother’s Milk Bank to provide donated milk babies in need. 

“We are now able to provide the next best thing to families. This program shows that we are committed to promoting breastfeeding success, however a mother choose to do it,” Laura Mojica, Lactation Clinical Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Hospital. 

St. Joseph’s Hospital receives pasteurized breast milk. Mother’s Milk Bank screens volunteer mother for medical conditions and the milk is tested for bacteria that can be passed onto infants. After that process, the milk is pasteurized, frozen and shipped to hospitals. 

“It’s been proven through many studies that exclusive human milk diet decreases the incidents of necrotizing enterocolitis in very low birth-rate infants. There are bioactive nutrients that are included contained in human milk that can’t be found in formula,” Jonathan Bautista, Executive Director, San Jose Mother’s Milk Bank. 

Infants with any health condition are eligible to receive donated milk in Humboldt County as well as babies with mothers who are not producing enough to supplement them.