RALEIGH: WakeMed experiences shortage of donated breast milk - WRBL

WakeMed experiences shortage of donated breast milk

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A nurse at the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank A nurse at the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A nationwide shortage of breast milk is affecting hospitals all over the country.

WakeMed in Raleigh is just one of 14 accredited milk banks in the nation, and the hospital is asking mothers with babies a year old or less to donated their breast milk.

"The demand for donor milk for the premature babies has skyrocketed in the last couple of years," said Susan Evans, Registered Nurse and WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank coordinator.

WakeMed is one of just two milk banks on the entire East Coast and it supplies donated breast milk to hospitals in the Southeast.

"We actually bring in about 22,0000 ounces of milk a month, but we need to double that," Evans said.

Because of the shortage, they are only servicing premature babies in NICU's because Evans explained, "it has antibodies that formula doesn't have."

Linea Gwynne now works in WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank, but in 2007, she was first a breast milk donor. She said she lost her baby at 25 weeks, and that's when she first got the idea to donate her milk.

"Even when you're going through a hard time, there's something you can give," Gwynne said. "It was hard as I would sit down and pump, knowing I should be feeding a baby. I did cry as I did it; but for me, it was very healing to be able to do that."

If you're interested in becoming a donor, contact WakeMed Mother's Milk Bank at 919-350-8599 or go to http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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