Coalition to provide a breast milk drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, inside the hospital’s Women and Infants Pavilion, 44105 15th Street West.
Antelope Valley Hospital is home to the region’s only neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which cares for more than 400 premature or ill newborns annually. The specialized care these tiny patients receive includes health-boosting breast milk, preferably from their own mothers. However, when the mother has a low milk supply, is ill or on certain medications, or in cases of adoption or surrogacy, breast milk donated by other nursing mothers can be lifesaving. Last year the NICU used 80 gallons of donor milk to treat infants.
"Sick infants and babies born prematurely need the vital nutrients and antibodies found in breast milk," said Sonja Beck, AVH Women Infants and Children Program Breastfeeding Coordinator and chair of Antelope Valley Breastfeeding Coalition. "The drive will help increase our breastmilk supply and provide care to newborn babies at our NICU."
The hospital was designated a Breast Milk Depot in 2017 by BreastfeedLA, a nonprofit breastfeeding advocacy organization. AVH is one of only four designated milk collection sites in the county. The designation means breastfeeding moms can now drop off breast milk at AVH; it will then be processed, pasteurized and distributed to infants in need of this vital resource.
Mothers interested in donating breast milk during the drive will be screened and given a blood test to ensure the safety of their breast milk. Frozen breast milk is appreciated. For details, call 661-726-6210.