Approximately 380,000 babies are born prematurely in the United States each year. These babies are behind in their growth and development, putting them at risk for significant complications. For these fragile infants, breastmilk can make a world of difference. Its nutrients and immunological properties can protect against conditions such as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a severe intestinal infection.
Mothers of premature infants often struggle to produce adequate breastmilk due to stress, their own medical conditions or a number of other factors. Donor human milk ensures that their babies receive optimal nutrition and protection, a welcome gift during this stressful time.
Each year, more hospitals provide donor milk to the babies in their NICUs. Because of this, the demand for both milk and milk donors continues to increase. Those who choose to donate to a nonprofit HMBANA-affiliated milk bank are assured their donations will benefit the most vulnerable infants in our population. These milk banks, such as Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas, do not financially profit from donor milk, and the milk is often life-saving for infants recovering from serious complications or surgeries.