On June 21, 2021, Mothers’ Milk Bank of Tennessee (MMBTN) broke ground in Murfreesboro, TN. But this labor of love still has significant monetary needs.
MMBTN’s primary mission is to provide life-saving donor breast milk to at-risk babies in TN.
Executive Director and Co-founder, Dr. Susan Campbell, noted at the TN Breastfeeding Coalition’s Annual Symposium, June 24-25, that premature birth is the #1 cause of Infant Mortality in African American babies:
“Breastfeeding rates are significantly lower for Black families, compared to other ethnic groups. In my career as a Neonatologist, I observed first hand that MOM (Mother’s Own Milk) for these tiny babies significantly reduces the rate of a devastating intestinal disease, Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) and serious infections (Sepsis) and helps save babies’ lives. Both the Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, as well as the Surgeons General of the United States, have recommended MOM as the best feeding for babies, followed by safe, pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) when MOM is not available”.
COVID concerns caused significant problems for Moms last year. TN’s breastfeeding rates dropped initially during the pandemic, until the AAP and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued position statements confirming that breastfeeding is safe and recommended even if Mom has COVID. Antibodies, from either the vaccine or disease, pass into the breastmilk. In pasteurized donor human milk, COVID virus is killed, however COVID antibodies, when present, are preserved. Babies who cannot yet be vaccinated may derive protection from breast milk containing antibodies.
Tennessee Mothers have donated over 400,000 ounces of milk since the first milk drop-off Depot opened in 2016 at Nashville General Hospital @ Meharry. There are now 12 Milk drop-off Depots across the State. Currently all that donated milk goes to the Austin, Texas milk bank for Pasteurization. When MMBTN opens in Murfreesboro, select hospitals who have signed-up to be Charter Hospitals, will be offered discounted banked human milk for the first year of operations of the Milk Bank.
MMBTN launched a new website March 22, 2021 and over 150 mothers have since applied to be milk donors. Over 50 mothers have requested milk.
Find out more about how you can help Mothers’ Milk Bank of Tennessee open this summer by visiting milkbanktn.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Be sure to include the tn for Tennessee).
Previous News Story HERE.