“Washington Regional is a depot site for the Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank.” Erin Moore MS, RD, LD, CNSC is Clinical Nutrition Manager at Washington Regional Medical Center. She says “while we don’t have a milk bank here in Arkansas, we are a depot site to allow mothers to drop off their milk donations once they’re approved. And it makes its way to the Mothers’ Milk Bank.”

“Milk banks like Oklahoma and in other states serve NICUs (neonatal intensive care units) all across the country, including those in Arkansas, so some of the milk does make it back to our patients here in the NICU.”

Dr. Marla Lightburn is a Neonatologist in Washington Regional’s NICU she says that “Donor breast milk is very important in NICU patients. You have both your premature babies who are at very high risk for an intestinal complication that can occur particularly in babies that are less than 34 weeks. So we know that if they receive formula they’re at greater risk for that intestinal complication compared to babies that get mom’s milk or donor breast milk. “

“You also have term babies who may just be critically ill and a lot of times those moms are also ill and not able to produce enough milk early enough to be able to feed the babies and we prefer to use donor breast milk in those cases instead of exposing them to formula.”

Moore says ” there is a big need for donor milk all the time. Banks are constantly asking for donations from mothers. But this time of year especially we tend to see an increase in our census, an increase in the usage of the donor breast milk so if you are interested in donating milk I would encourage you to go to the Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank website.”