UCSD Health sets up a Mother’s Milk Bank inside of the San Diego Blood Bank
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – University of California Health (UCH) and University of California San Diego Health (UC San Diego Health) have launched a nonprofit milk bank to serve families in Southern California and statewide through all six UCH academic health centers.
Pasteurized, donated breast milk is critical for feeding sick or premature infants when mothers do not have a sufficient milk supply for their baby’s nutritional needs. Operated by UC San Diego Health and located in the San Diego Blood Bank, the new facility represents one of the first groundbreaking partnerships between a blood bank and a mothers’ milk bank.
The University of California Health Milk Bank, the first milk bank located in San Diego, is the only Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) accredited milk bank in Southern California, and only one of 30 nonprofit milk banks in North America. Improving the lives of fragile babies is a key focus for Lisa Stellwagen, MD, the executive director of the milk bank and the facility’s medical director—the only nonprofit milk bank in North America directed by a physician.
A milk bank accepts donated frozen mother’s milk and processes it to provide a safe pasteurized human milk product for hospitalized and/or fragile children. Healthy breastfeeding or pumping mothers who have 100 ounces or more of extra frozen milk are welcome to contribute to the University of California Health Milk Bank. Mothers complete an extensive questionnaire and are carefully tested before donation; the milk is also tested and processed, using high quality laboratory practices.
Lisa Stellwagen, MD, the executive director of the milk bank and the facility’s medical director, discussed the new partnership with KUSI’s Lauren Phinney on Good Morning San Diego.