LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) -Tis' the season of giving. Which is why Comanche County Memorial Hospital is asking new mother’s to consider donating their extra breast milk to the Oklahoma Mother’s Milk Bank.
Breast milk has been proven to be the best food for your baby. Mom’s milk supports growth and development as well as boosts the baby’s ability to fight infection.
When a new mother is having problems with breast feeding, there’s another option.
“Mom’s first milk is first choice, the second would be pasteurized donor milk, and then our third option would be supplementing with formula,” said Kate Copass, International board certified lactation consultant. “The pasteurized donor milk is completely safe. It’s probably actually safer than using powdered formula due to the screening process and the pasteurization process.”
The donor milk is pasteurized, tested and frozen until prescribed. Copass says the process is very simple and safe.
"Mom's that might have some extra milk that they know that they might not need are able to go through a screening process through the Oklahoma Mother's Milk Bank," said Copass. "They'll fill out a questionnaire and have their blood drawn. And then they can bring their milk to us at the lactation office and we will get it to the milk bank for them."
Copass says she knows firsthand how the process works since she was actually able to donate her breast milk after having her second child.
"It was just a huge gift to be able to give another mother that she can help take care of her baby by giving human milk to her baby versus supplementing with formula," said Copass. "As a mom, it's great to know that we are helping other moms and babies."
Comanche County Memorial Hospital's Infant Feeding resource Center offers its' patients the donor milk for free. However, as the only breastfeeding resource center in in the region, CCMH also offers assistance to the rest of Southwest Oklahoma as well.
"Our infant feeding resource center is available to anybody in the community and the surrounding towns," said Copass. "You don't have to have delivered your baby here or see a pediatrician here at the hospital. We would love to help anybody in the community."
Those services include classes on breastfeeding, video presentations, as well as community support groups.
If mothers or families have any questions about donating breast milk or curious about what pasteurized donor breast milk is, you can call the infant feeding resource center at CCMH at 580-250-5253. Or you can visit the Oklahoma Mother’s Milk Bank’s website at OKmilkbank.org.