(Fort Myers, Fla. – May 19, 2015) — Lee Memorial Health System is excited to announce it has opened two breast milk banks located at Cape Coral Hospital and HealthPark Medical Center. Babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) depend on this life saving nourishment to thrive when their mother’s milk is not available. Knowing the positive impact that breast milk can have on babies for a lifetime, the health system is asking lactating mothers in the community to consider donating their milk.
“Every drop of breast milk can make a difference in the long-term survival and outcome of a sick baby,” says Nancy Travis, Director of Women’s and Children’s services. “Donors to a non-profit milk bank, such as ours, find comfort and pride in knowing that they are providing life-saving milk to babies in need. We’re very excited to be able to provide this service to our community.”
Under the physician prescription, donated milk is sent to babies in hospitals. It is used by preemies and older babies who cannot tolerate formula, have a weakened immune system, or have special dietary needs. Donor milk greatly reduces the incidence of digestive tract infections and many other infections as well. One ounce of your milk can feed a tiny preemie for an entire day.
Donating extra milk is a wonderful life-saving gift to a sick baby. Once you’ve established your milk supply and your own baby’s needs are met, you are likely to qualify as a donor if:
- You are in generally good health.
- You are a non-smoker.
- You are not taking medications on a regular basis.
To get started, mothers who are interested in donating can call 407-303-2599 to complete a telephone screening. Once it is determined that you are eligible to donate, a blood draw is required (the cost is covered by the milk bank); and you, your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician will need to sign medical release forms. Your milk can then be dropped off at either of Lee Memorial Health System’s Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) milk banks:
Cape Coral Hospital 239-424-2217
Family Birth Suites, 636 Del Prado Blvd., Cape Coral
Drop off times: Mon – Fri, 9a.m. to 8p.m., and by appointment.
HealthPark Medical Center 239-343-6024
Lactation Services, 9981 S. HealthPark Drive, Ste. 450, Fort Myers
Drop off times: Mon – Fri, 9a.m. to 1p.m., and by appointment.
About Lee Memorial Health System
Open since 1916, Lee Memorial Health System is the fourth largest public health system in the United States and the largest community-owned health system in Southwest Florida. With more than 11,000 employees, the system is made up of four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals, as well as outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers and primary care and specialty physician offices. An award-winning health care system, it provides regional programs, such as our Trauma Center and Golisano Children’s Hospital, which serve our community members from Tampa to Miami. Visit www.leememorial.org for more information.