Donor milk program helps supply "Liquid Gold" - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Donor milk program helps supply "Liquid Gold"

by Diana Normand

MARSHFIELD (WAOW)--  It's not something most mothers would typically think of doing right after they've had a baby--donating breast milk.

"At birth many Moms, when they deliver a baby early, can pump enough milk for their babies.  But some Mom's have a medical condition that makes it so that they can't, and sometimes just delivering a baby early really interferes with that process of milk coming in," said Dr. Audra Winder.

That's why Dr. Winder a neonatologist at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Saint Joseph's Children's Hospital started the Donor Milk Program.

The program allows new Moms who produce enough milk to donate it.  So, babies can still benefit from breast milk even if it's not from their mother.

"Mom's milk, especially, has lots of benefits for babies.  The biggest benefit of donor milk, because it's processed it doesn't have all the good antibodies to help fight infections, it's a lot better tolerated by babies and their risk of a serious problem with the intestines called necrotizing enterocolitis is about six times less if they get breast milk versus formula," said Dr. Winder.

A disease that can be fatal and that's why breast milk is important even if it's not from a babies mother.  Helping them recover from the disease a lot quicker and it could determine whether or not they even get it.  And, that's why mother of one Lenita Kluge, 29, got involved in the program.

"I had such an excess.  I didn't have the heart to just throw it away.  And, unfortunately just before I got approved we did have to dispose of some," said Lenita Kluge.

It was then Lenita met up with Dr. Winder and began the process of donating her milk.  Something she says is easy.

"I had to go through a screening process, an application, blood work and then I got approved to be able to send my milk out to Ohio and then pasteurized and sent out to hospitals for babies to use," she said.

Lenita isn't involved in the program right now, but it's something she says she'd definitely do again.

"I just think of how much more I could've helped if we would have gotten approved sooner," she said.

Online Reporter: Pam Warnke

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