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Alaska Women Donate Breast Milk for Vulnerable Newborns

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:14:35 PM AKST   Updated On: Nov 29 2013 09:05:25 PM AKST

by Channel 2's Rebecca Palsha and photojournalist Scotty Smith. Doctor's say breast milk is the best option for babies but some women can't do it. Other mothers can step in to help by donating their own breast milk. 


Most doctors agree breast milk is the best choice for newborn babies.

But for infants in the intensive care unit, and children who are adopted, breast milk is not always an option.

Providence Hospital realizes the problem and acts as a donation site for breast milk donors.

Hospitals send the milk to Colorado, which has a milk bank. There the milk is pasteurized, which preserves nutrients and immune properties.

Hospitals across the country, including facilities in Alaska, then receive the milk.

Providence said an average of 15 women donate milk each week, and that the NICU at the Anchorage hospital uses roughly 1,000 ounces of the donated milk weekly.

To learn how to become a donor, visit the Mothers' Milk Bank Colorado website or call the the nursing boutique at Providence at 212-5886.