(Salt Lake City, UT) – Everyone knows mother’s milk is best for babies, but some moms who deliver prematurely may need other moms’ or outside help. That’s why the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is partnering with the Utah Breastfeeding Coalition on the first Miracle Milk Mother’s Play Day Stroll.
Judy Harris, MPH, RD, IBCLC, State Breastfeeding Coordinator with the UDOH WIC Program says “We want Utahns to know there is an ongoing urgent need for human milk.” Harris says babies born early or with other health or GI problems are in particular need of human milk due to its wonderfully specific properties. If their mom is not yet producing enough milk, or has other complications making them unable to breastfeed, other moms can help out. “Banked mother’s milk is truly a lifesaver,” says Harris.
The Mothers' Play Day Stroll is Saturday, May 10 from 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Salt Lake’s Liberty Park. It starts at the Rice Terrace Pavilion on the northeast corner of the park. The stroll goal is to raise awareness and funds.
Utah moms currently donate at four collection sites in Utah, which send the milk to Denver for processing; some of that milk comes back for use in Utah. The newly-formed Salt Lake City non-profit Mountain West Mothers’ Milk Bank is asking for milk donations to prepare for the needed infrastructure to open the physical bank in 2016. This will make getting milk easier and faster. “It’s also great that our milk stays with our babies, and it will save Utah health dollars,” said Harris. “It’s well documented that breast milk can make the difference in life or death for premature babies, particularly those with a dangerous condition called “necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).”
NEC is a costly digestive disorder that occurs frequently in preemies and is one of the leading causes of death for babies born too soon.
For more information on the Mother’s Milk Bank, contact Judy Harris at 801-538-6122 or Meghan Reed at 801-696-5787.
The mission of the Utah Department of Health is to protect the public's health through preventing avoidable illness, injury, disability and premature death, assuring access to affordable, quality health care, and promoting healthy lifestyles.