Orange Park, FL - Mothers across the country who deliver babies needing time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) will soon get help from other mothers right here in the Jacksonville area. That’s because Orange Park Medical Center opened the area’s first, human milk donation and outreach center, joining the network of Mothers’ Milk Bank (MMB), a Colorado-based, nonprofit program benefiting women and babies nationwide.
Many times, mothers are unable to offer their NICU babies breastmilk. Therefore, many NICUs around the country provide donated human milk for the babies in their care who are sick or born prematurely. The result is vastly improved outcomes for these babies.
Orange Park Medical Center’s Donation and Outreach Center is the first in the greater Jacksonville area. "Human milk is very different than formula. It has thousands of components, whereas, manufactured formula has just 50," said Donna Mason, lactation specialist at Orange Park Medical Center. “Some of the components that human milk contains will never be made in a factory. They are made by mom for a baby,”
“In a little more than a decade, we’ve seen the number of mom’s breast feeding jump from 50 to 80%, and a large part of that has to do with moms becoming better educated on the countless benefits,” adds Suzanne Jones, Director of Orange Park Medical Center’s Women’s & Children’s Services. “Now First Coast area mothers with extra milk can make a difference in babies’ lives by donating their excess milk to the Donation and Outreach Center.”
Orange Park Medical Center will safely ship the milk donations to the Colorado based facility where it will be pasteurized and distributed to babies across the country whose mothers cannot supply sufficient milk for their needs. Orange Park Medical Center itself has used donor human milk for babies through this program who need supplementation.
The Donation & Outreach Center's hours of operation at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.
For more information interested mothers may call the Lactation department at (904) 639-3515.