Indiana Blood Center is Now Partnering with Milk Bank

By Melissa Crash

Published 06/17 2014 03:23PM

Updated 06/17 2014 07:30PM

For critically ill babies, donated blood and human milk are critical to survive in those first few days in the hospital.

That's why two Indiana organizations are teaming up to make sure infants have access to both.

The Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank and Indiana Blood Center have launched a new partnership.

Believe it or not, the process of donating milk is very similar to donating blood. There's a screening process, that includes a blood test, and lifestyle screening.

It's a non-profit connection, both the Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank and Blood Center want to help save lives by donating to as many infants as possible.

Carissa Hawkins, a member of the Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank said, "We're hoping by expanding our reach outside of the Indianapolis area, we'll have more moms feel comfortable to donate and can have an easy and convenient location to drop off their milk."

Devon Kinne, a mother and a member of the Breast-Feeding Coalition of the Wabash Valley has personally witnessed the effect of milk donations on her own children.

"My third son, when he was born, had to go to the NICU and until my milk came in he was able to use donor breast milk," said Kinne.

Afterwards, she was able to give back to other infants in need by donating herself.

The Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank has donated more than 700,000 ounces to hospitals around the state, and with the help from the new depots, officials expect that number to increase.

"We want to encourage moms to be able to store up that breast milk and when they have 100 ounces donate it, because there are a lot of babies out there that really need and aren't able to get it for a variety of different reasons," said Kinne.

Local moms say they also depend on the encouragement and support they receive from other moms going through the same issues.

"So we've been effected by it, and seen the wonders of it, and we have a lot of moms in our group that have too. So we're very excited about this," said Kinne.

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