January 13, 2017
Trident and Summerville Medical Centers are pleased to announce their partnership with Mother's Milk Bank of South Carolina. Mother's Milk Bank started as a partnership between the South Carolina Neonatal Consortium, South Carolina Birth Outcomes Initiative and the Medical University of South Carolina. Milk banks serve as a place where breastfeeding mothers meeting specific qualifications can donate surplus milk. The addition of these sites increases the number of milk banks in the tri-county area from four to six- four in Charleston county, one in Berkeley County and one in Dorchester County.
"Breast milk provides infants more than calories needed for growth," explained Dr. Art Shepard, neonatologist and Chief of Staff at Trident and Summerville Medical Centers. "We know that breast milk contains antibodies and healthy bacteria that help infants build their immune system. The simple act of breastfeeding also allows mother and baby to have skin-to-skin bonding time which research suggests leads to improved infant health. Our hope is that these additional sites will be conveniently located to mothers interested in donating milk."
Trident and Summerville Medical Center have Board Certified Lactation Consultants on-site to help mothers breastfeed in the hospital and are also available to patients after discharge. Tilma Phillips, RN, IBCLC at Summerville Medical Center estimates that Lactation Consultants at the facility assist 10 - 20 mothers with breastfeeding each day. Both facilities offer breastfeeding support groups.
How human donor milk helps premature babies and can save lives:
- Premature babies account for 1 of every 9 births
- Sick babies are at risk to develop devastating intestinal infections if they are given formula
- Human milk has growth hormones that help them to develop
- Human milk contains important antibodies that protect babies against infection and allergies
You can become a donor if:
- You are generally healthy
- You do not take medications or herbal supplements on a regular basis (with exceptions)
- You do not smoke
- You are willing to undergo a blood test
- You are able to arrange for transportation of your milk to a depot (drop-off site)
- If your milk could be delivered to a baby within one year of pump date
If you are considering milk donation contact one of our facilities:
- Trident Medical Center- 9330 Medical Plaza Drive, Charleston, SC, 29406 | (843) 847-4200
- Summerville Medical Center- 295 Midland Parkway, Summerville, SC, 29485 | (843) 970-5270
Donations are accepted Monday through Friday from 8:00am- 5:00pm on the second floor Mother/Baby Units.