DCH Health System has launched a donor breast milk program benefitting premature infants in the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) at DCH Regional Medical Center and Northport Medical Center.
DCH has been a pioneer in providing exclusive human milk nutrition for premature infants in its NICUs and is already using fortifiers made from human milk, as opposed to cow milk.
DCH will partner with Prolacta Bioscience to establish the Human Milk Program at DCH Health System. The program uses surplus breast milk of nursing mothers in their community to make standardized donor breast milk made by Prolacta Bioscience. The milk will be distributed to premature infants hospitalized across the country, including the NICUs at both Tuscaloosa County hospitals.
"This is an easy and safe outlet for mothers to donate their unused breast milk to babies who need it the most," said Lorraine Yehlen, vice president of patient care services for the DCH Health System.
Prolacta will manage the qualification process of mothers referred from DCH with health screenings and blood testing, along with streamlining the milk collection and shipping process right from donors' homes. Prolacta's manufacturing facility will be used to conduct the safety and quality testing before pasteurizing the human milk products for in-hospital use.