UPMC Altoona now accepting breast milk donations

WTAJ – (August 4, 2023) – UPMC Altoona now has a local source of nourishment for premature babies and babies whose mothers can’t fully supply their needs.

The hospital is now a donation depot for breast milk making it the first hospital in the UPMC system and the 5th in Pennsylvania to become a site for donations. UPMC Lactation Consultant Alison Keating said they supply the donated milk to the Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank which is based in Pittsburgh.

“Pre-screened moms who are in contact with Mid-Atlantic and who are already approved as donors can drop off their milk donations here,” Keating said.

The milk depot now brings a lot of benefits to the area as donations will help newborns who aren’t able to thrive off formula.

“Human milk is so amazingly beneficial for infants and making sure that infants are breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life is a recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, and the World Health Organization. Human milk is really important to get infants off to their best start,” Keating said.

The lactation consultant added breastfeeding protects babies and mothers from various illnesses.

“When infants are very small or very young or born early or have other medical conditions, human milk is like medicine for them,” Keating said. “We know that human milk prevents infection, it prevents illnesses, it builds up immune systems, it builds brain development, it adds to overall health, and really makes an incredible difference no matter what those babies are going through.”

This will not only benefit the babies but also the mother’s health. Keating said the depot will make a long-term difference for the health of infants in need but also in the community.

“When we have human milk and prioritize human milk, that’s when we really make a difference long term in health not only in these infants but also in these in our community. So for one, having this milk depot is a great community outreach and in moments like this we can let the community know how important human milk is and how we value it here at UPMC Altoona,” Keating said.

Any mother who is willing to donate can reach out to the Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank.

Read the full story here.