Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) is partnering with the Antelope Valley Breastfeeding Coalition to provide a breast milk drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5, inside the hospital’s Women and Infants Pavilion, 44105 15th Street West.
Antelope Valley Hospital is home to the region’s only neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which cares for more than 400 premature or ill newborns annually. The specialized care these tiny patients receive includes health-boosting breast milk, preferably from their own mothers. However, when the mother has a low milk supply, is ill or on certain medications, or in cases of adoption or surrogacy, breast milk donated by other nursing mothers can be lifesaving. Last year the NICU used 75 gallons of donor milk to treat infants.
"The drive is part of an ongoing effort to increase the amount of breast milk we have available to our newborn babies in the NICU," said Sonja Beck, AVH breastfeeding coordinator and chair of Antelope Valley Breastfeeding Coalition. "Breast milk provides vital nutrients and antibodies to these babies, which is especially beneficial to infants who are sick or born prematurely."
The hospital was designated a Breast Milk Depot in 2017 by BreastfeedLA, a nonprofit breastfeeding advocacy organization. AVH is one of only two designated milk collection sites in the county. The designation means breastfeeding moms can now drop off breast milk at AVH; it will then be processed, pasteurized and distributed to infants in need of this vital resource.
Mothers interested in donating breast milk during the drive will be screened and given a blood test to ensure the safety of their breast milk. For details, call 661-726-6210.
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