Rhode Island hospital launches first human pasteurized milk donor program in the state

A Rhode Island hospital is the first in the state to launch a human pasteurized milk donor program in an effort to combat the nationwide baby formula shortage.

Kent Hospital’s Women’s Care Center, located in Warwick, launched the program in May. According to the hospital, the program “supports breastfeeding families by allowing them the option of providing their infant with pasteurized donor human milk, if supplementation is needed, as a bridge until a mother’s own milk is available.”

Kent Hospital is Rhode Island’s second largest hospital and first to offer this program to all mothers intending to exclusively breastfeed.

“We are thrilled to offer donor milk as a safe, evidence-based alternative that supports our breastfeeding families,” said Kristine Rimbos, interim director at the Women’s Care Center at Kent. “This program is a win-win for our community and the patients that we serve.”

They say the donor milk comes from a Newton, Massachusetts-based Mothers’ Milk Bank, a non-profit accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

“Kent Hospital’s commitment to a pasteurized donor human milk program, as a bridge to exclusive breastfeeding, will help our postpartum mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals, and ensure that our babies get off to their best start,” said Susan Bryant, a lactation consultant at the Women’s Care Center at Kent. 

Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast provides pasteurized donor human milk to babies in fragile health throughout the Northeastern U.S. The non-profit also provides steps on how to donate breast milk.

In the wake of the nationwide baby formula shortage, maker Abbott Nutrition said that it is restarting production at its Michigan plant after meeting requirements from the FDA.

Click here to find other milk banks across the U.S.

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