Make a Holiday Gift Donation and Help Save Tiny, Precious Lives

Make a Holiday Gift Donation and Help Save Tiny, Precious Lives

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas Kicks Off

2014 Fall Giving Campaign

MMBNT Fall 2014 Giving Campaign(1)_000001Looking for a creative gift this holiday season?  Honor a loved one this year through a donation to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas.  Funds raised will ensure that eligible premature and critically ill infants will receive life saving pasteurized human donor milk, regardless of the family’s ability to pay. Donations are tax-deductible.  See our donor form and giving campaign newsletter by clicking here.

The fall giving campaign, launched last week, gives contributors the options of making one-time gifts and holiday gift donations to family and friends.  Holiday gift donations must be received by Monday, December 15.  Holiday gift greeting cards will be sent to recipients between Monday, December 15 and Friday, December 19.

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Ryan, a donor milk recipient

“This fundraising campaign is a great opportunity for the local community to support the life saving work we have done here for ten years, “ says Amy Vickers, Executive Director.  She adds, “Because 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely in the United States, it is crucial we continue to raise the funds needed to save these fragile, little lives.”

Ryan, pictured above, has thrived on donor milk.  Born with a hypoxic brain injury that has resulted in many medical challenges, Ryan is gaining weight, rolling over, holding his head up and interacting with his parents and 14 siblings.  To read more about Ryan, click here.

2014 Levels of Giving include:

  • $25 provides safe storage for 3000 ounces of milk
  • $50 pays for the shipment of milk for one baby at home
  • $100 covers screening and testing for one donor mom to safely donate milk
  • $500 screens 5 donor moms to safely donate milk
  • $750 provides a shipment of milk to a critically ill baby at home
  • $1000 establishes a milk collection site that receives and stores donated milk for delivery and processing
  • $3000 pays courier costs for milk transportation from collection sites to the milk bank for one month

How to Donate

  • Print our holiday gift donation form and mailer by clicking on :

    Donor Form and Giving Campaign Newsletter

  • Or make a one-time donation online via PayPal by clicking here.
  • Return donation forms with checks payable to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, 600 W. Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas, 76104.
  • Questions?  Fill out this contact form for assistance:

For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, visit our website.

 

 

 

 

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Observing World Prematurity Month: One Milk Donor Mom Shares Her Son’s Survival Story

Observing World Prematurity Month: One Milk Donor Mom Shares Her Son’s Survival Story

IMG_0565November is World Prematurity Month and next Monday, November 17, is World Prematurity Day. In the United States, 1 of every 8 babies is born prematurely. For these babies, breastmilk is life saving. Breastmilk provides protection through immunological properties, and premature infants who receive it, are less likely to develop serious complications like infections.  Therefore, when a mother’s own milk is not available, donor human milk from a milk bank is the best alternative.

In observance of World Prematurity Month, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas would like to recognize the very special 3rd birthday of Camden Richardson, which is this Saturday, November 15. Camden was born prematurely at 29 weeks gestation.  His mother, Megan, tells his story and how she became a milk donor mom.

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Megan with Camden

Shortly after midnight on November 15, 2011, I realized that I had fallen asleep without feeling my baby move. After poking on my belly, eating a banana, and rolling side-to-side, I knew something was terribly wrong when I still could not feel any movement.

I immediately went to the hospital and prayed that I would have the strength to deal with what was to come. The doctors said our baby’s heart was still beating with occasional drops in rate. We were transported to Willis-Knighton South Hospital in Shreveport, LA where I had an emergency C-section.

The bottom 3 shelves of this NICU freezer are filled with Megan's milk.

The bottom 3 shelves of this NICU freezer are filled with Megan’s milk.

The doctors discovered that our baby’s umbilical cord was not only around his neck twice, but was also in a knot. Camden Micheal weighed 3 lbs. 2 oz. and was 15 inches long. I remember hearing a tiny cry as his premature lungs struggled to function before he was put on a mechanical ventilator.

As a former NICU nurse, I knew how breastmilk benefits premature babies. I breastfed my other two sons and wanted to provide our new little miracle with the same start, so I began pumping every 3-4 hours. At first Camden was on IV nourishment, but soon received less than a teaspoon of my milk through an oral-gastric tube. I was concerned that I would not produce enough milk, but I was able to fill up our home freezer as well as the one in the NICU!

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Camden with his older brothers

During his third week of life, Camden developed hydrocephalus from a small brain hemorrhage at birth. This rare and unanticipated development lengthened his stay in the NICU. It was during this time that I realized we needed to do something with all of my stored milk. My mom suggested that I look into donating my breastmilk. I completed the donor application process for the Mothers’ Milk Bank at North Texas and donated 769 ounces. I donated my breastmilk to another milk bank as well, making my total donation 1,621 ounces.

The Richardson Family

The Richardson Family

Donating my milk helped me look outside of my own crisis, and gave me something to feel good about as I left the hospital day after day without our baby for nearly three months. I was happy to know that I could help other mothers provide their babies with the benefits of breastmilk. On January 24, 2012, Camden had surgery to implant a permanent shunt to drain the fluid from his brain. We were finally able to take our baby boy home from the hospital on February 2, 2012 and it did not take him long to grow into my milk supply.

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Camden in August

Today, Camden is growing and developing as expected with his medical history. At almost 3 years old, he doesn’t need therapy anymore and hasn’t had any issues with his shunt since his last surgeries in May 2013.  Nobody can tell he had such a rough start.

The Richardson Family is expecting a fourth boy at the end of January.  If Megan ends up with surplus breastmilk, she plans to become a milk donor again.

For more information on World Prematurity Day, click here.

For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas or how to become a donor mom, click here.

 

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Processed Donor Milk = Safe Donor Milk

Processed Donor Milk = Safe Donor Milk

Video Goodson - donor milk

donor milk ready for processing

Last week, our blog featured a profile of Shaina Starks-Solis, Production Manager at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, who has the critical job of supervising the flow of donor milk coming in and going out.  This week, we explore the standards for processing the milk, ensuring quality and safety for premature and critically ill babies in need.

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milk is pooled in flasks

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas is a proud member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).  HMBANA, established in 1985, serves as a governing resource for milk banks all over the United States.  Its protocols help establish non-profit milk banks such as MMBNT as well as new milk banks needed in North America.  In addition, HMBANA implements strict milk processing guidelines, ensuring every milk bank’s primary concern: safety.

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milk is pasteurized for 30 minutes

HMBANA’s goals include:

  • Ensuring quality control of donor milk banking among member banks through adherence to mandatory guidelines and periodic inspection of member banks
  • Providing a forum for networking among experts in the field on issues relating to donor human milk banking
  • Encouraging research into the unique properties of human milk and its uses
  • Promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding for mothers and infants
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milk samples ready for testing

Ever wonder what happens to donor milk before it is dispensed to hospitals and fragile babies at home? Milk arrives at the milk bank frozen and remains frozen for processing. It is gradually thawed, pooled, packaged and then pasteurized at 62.5 C for 30 minutes.  Milk is cooled, tested for bacteria, labeled and frozen for storage and shipping. HMBANA’s mandatory guidelines include:

  1. scrubbing
  2. pouring
  3. mixing & pooling
  4. filling bottles
  5. pasteurization using the Holder Pasteurization Method
  6. lab testing
  7. freezing, storing and shipping

For more photos and details about HMBANA’s processing guidelines, click here.

For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, click here.

 

 

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Managing the Flow of Donor Milk at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas

Managing the Flow of Donor Milk at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas

Employee Profile:  Shaina Starks-Solis, Production Manager

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At Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, a lot happens from the moment donor milk arrives, to the time it nourishes premature and critically ill babies.  Production Manager, Shaina Starks-Solis, supervises this vital process.  Upon delivery, milk is electronically logged and barcoded and stored in holding freezers.  The lab pasteurizes and tests the milk according to national scientific guidelines and standards before it is packaged and dispensed to both hospitals and fragile babies at home.

Always an integral part of day-to day operations, Shaina initially began working in the lab assisting with the pasteurization process in 2010.  Her time as Pasteurization Supervisor led to her current role as Production Manager.

Milk Bank LabShaina wears many hats at the milk bank.  A typical day starts with checking in with the lab, overseeing milk processing, analyzing milk nutritional and caloric content and finally, approving milk for dispensing. In addition to supervising the flow of donor milk coming in and going out, she also provides facility tours and milk bank education presentations.  Shaina’s informative, yet approachable style educates nursing students, lactation care providers, donor moms and various members of the local community.

photoWhen asked about her favorite part of her job, Shaina explains, “I really love talking to recipient families and seeing how grateful they are for what our donors are doing to improve the health of their babies.  I have the unique opportunity to witness the daily transition of donor milk to babies in need.”

Shaina is looking forward to the birth of her first child in April.  She lives with her husband, Juan and 12 year-old stepson, Alex.  Weekends are spent riding her bike, gardening and enjoying living in the same neighborhood as the milk bank, off Fort Worth’s revitalized Magnolia Avenue.  Her plans for the future include going back to school for a degree in Community Health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Isaiah’s Rough Beginning Before Donor Milk

Isaiah’s Rough Beginning Before Donor Milk

Baby Isaiah’s troubles began on day one.  In a desperate search for answers, Isaiah’s mom, Kristy, began researching the healing benefits of human breastmilk.  Here is her story.

1455835_10203903819228320_5820637912046383428_nIsaiah came into the world not breathing. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he was blue.  Revived with tactile stimulation, his troubles were not over. Isaiah was screaming all the time and in horrible pain. With his back arched and fists clenched, he began to spit up every meal with episodes of choking and hiccups.

Isaiah would never sleep for more than a couple of minutes at a time before screaming again.  His episodes of not breathing continued. Before he left the hospital, he was diagnosed with GERD, Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease. However, I knew this was more than GERD.

Kristy, Dennis, Malachi & Isaiah

Kristy, Dennis, Malachi & Isaiah

Isaiah had been on breastmilk supplemented with formula for the first 3 weeks, but the problems continued.  Isaiah was admitted back to the hospital where we were told he had colic and I wasn’t feeding him enough.  As his condition worsened, he would spit up everything he ate, and began losing weight.  From 2 to 4 months, Isaiah only gained 4 ounces.

In a desperate journey to stop Isaiah’s pain, we had multiple pediatric, children’s hospital and emergency room visits, in addition to GI, chiropractic and ENT appointments.  We tried numerous medications such as Zantac, Prilosec, gas drops, Tylenol, allergy medication and probiotics.10293697_10203151812428620_587640679035262066_o

I kept researching and trying different medications, bottles, doctors and formulas. He even had an upper GI with barium swallow, ultrasound with glucose swallow, allergy tests and blood work . . . all with inconclusive results.

I just wanted to know what was wrong with my baby.  Through Facebook and moms groups, I determined he had a posterior tongue and upper lip tie, which required surgery. The revision brought some gas relief but he was still spitting up. image2

After researching milk banks through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), I chose Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas and obtained a prescription from Isaiah’s doctor for donor milk.  Isaiah guzzled his first bottle, with very little spit up and actually started to laugh and play.  I was so happy and thankful he was not in pain!

Now, there is no more screaming, pain, spitting up, fist clenching or breathing problems.  Isaiah gained 3 pounds and 7 ounces within 6 weeks of donor breastmilk.  At 5 months, he is 17 pounds, 12 ounces.  He is a happy and healthy little boy who will continue to get his liquid gold!

isaiah cribMy family and I are so thankful for the donor moms and for Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. Thank you for helping my boy grow and thrive for the first time since he was born.

Kristy, Dennis, Malachi & Isaiah

For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas or about becoming a donor, please visit our website.

 

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