Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk county hospitals make breast milk donation easier for local moms.
Clearwater, Fla. – BayCare has partnered with the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Florida to offer the first hospital-based breast milk donation sites in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. For added convenience, local moms can now support other families and infants by bringing their extra breast milk to the milk depots at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater and St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital in Tampa. Winter Haven Women’s Hospital in Winter Haven has been a breast milk depot in Polk County since 2016.
“Breast milk is the gold standard in nutrition for infants because it provides the ideal mix of vitamins, protein and fat, as well as antibodies that are not found in formula,” said Sandra E. Brooks, MD, MBA, medical director of the women’s service line for BayCare Health System. “Donor milk is a great option for families of sick and premature newborns who would like an exclusive human-milk diet for their babies, until the mom can establish breastfeeding.”
Instead of mailing in their breast milk, Tampa Bay-area moms who have been screened by the nonprofit Mothers’ Milk Bank of Florida can now take their frozen milk to the Doyle Tower on the east side of Morton Plant Hospital or to the Shimberg Breast Center at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital. To make a donation at Winter Haven Women’s Hospital, moms should call (863) 294-7068 to make a drop-off appointment. It is then stored in a dedicated freezer until collected by the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Florida, which pasteurizes and processes it for safety.
“BayCare is thrilled to offer this service to local moms who would like to help the community’s most vulnerable babies,” said Sarah Naumowich, women’s service line leader for BayCare. “These depots make breast milk donation easier by removing the barriers that can make it more difficult for moms to provide this life-saving nourishment.”
Morton Plant (Pinellas) and Winter Haven Women’s (Polk) hospitals are the only milk depot locations in their respective counties.
These milk depots enhance BayCare’s inpatient and outpatient lactation services, which include international board certified lactation consultants, breastfeeding helplines, and support groups, as well as in-hospital consultations, lactation stores and breast pump rentals.
For more information about donating to a milk depot, call Mothers’ Milk Bank of Florida at (407) 248-5050 to begin the screening process or visit MilkBankofFlorida.org for more information.
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and west central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit www.BayCare.org.