DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – For mothers unable to breastfeed but still want their baby to get mother’s milk, donated milk can make that wish come true.
Choosing between formula-fed and breastfed is a big choice for many mothers. In the end it comes down to what they’re comfortable with.
Mercy Dubuque encourages new moms to try breastfeeding their babies, claiming there are added health benefits.
Lactation Consultant and nurse Tara Lynch said not all mothers who want to breastfeed can.
“In some circumstances, mother’s milk may be delayed in coming in or maybe the baby is born prematurely. So there are circumstances where the baby needs a little extra milk until the mother’s milk is fully in. That’s where donor’s milk is the perfect option,” said Lynch.
One of those mothers was Steffanie Schilder. She delivered her daughter at 34 weeks in fetal distress. Her baby was rushed to Iowa City within hours, but Schilder insisted her daughter get breast milk until she could join her. That milk came from a generous mother.
Now with her daughter happy and healthy, Schilder is paying it forward.
“Just being able to provide the best thing, especially in a situation where you don’t have control of what’s going on, gave me a little peace of mind,” she said.
Lynch said mothers like Schilder are the ones who keep their supply growing.
“Unfortunately they don’t get paid. It’s just out of the goodness of their heart. A lot of the moms who become donors used the milk themselves,” she said.
Both donors and the milk go through a thorough screening process. The milk collected in Dubuque gets sent to Iowa City to be pasteurized and tested before it’s frozen and sent back to hospitals like Mercy Dubuque.
Lynch said mothers should have a conversation with their pediatrician about their feeding options for their baby.
Milk from the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa can be expensive, around $15 a bottle.
For more information about Mercy’s milk collection depot call 563-589-8553 or click here.