Nursing mothers in Nanaimo can help babies in need across the province by donating their breast milk.
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is now an official donor milk collection depot for B.C. Women’s Provincial Milk Bank.
Donor milk collection depots are locations where women can drop off their raw, frozen breast milk, which is transported to the provincial milk bank at B.C. Women’s Hospital and Health Centre in Vancouver.
The milk is pasteurized and distributed to neonatal intensive care units across B.C.
The Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation is providing more than $13,000 to purchase two medical freezers and a water-less milk warmer for the breast milk depot.
B.C. Women’s Hospital launched the Provincial Milk Bank in 1974 and has processed nearly 60,000 litres of milk to help tens of thousands of babies across the province.
Island Health’s first donor milk collection depot opened at Victoria General Hospital in 2016 and has shipped nearly 500 litres of frozen, donated milk to the provincial milk bank.
The donor milk collection depot at NRGH is located on the perinatal unit and the B.C. Women’s Hospital Provincial Milk Bank is looking for donors.
Donors must complete the provincial milk bank’s pre-screening process before they can donate milk. Screening consists of a brief telephone interview to confirm potential donors are in good health, not taking select medications and/or supplements, and are willing to undergo blood testing.
Screened donors can drop off their breast milk Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Approved donors are asked to call ahead to 250-755-7691, ext. 52144. Women interested in becoming an approved breast milk donors are asked to call 1-604-875-3743 or visit https://bit.ly/2OBlbq6.