Valley Regional Medical Center opens breast milk bank

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POSTED: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 12:45pm

UPDATED: Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 2:32pm

They refer to it as a scarce resource that has a life saving impact, Na'tassia Finley has more on Brownsville's first human milk depot and how it's expected to help Valley babies.

"It's a big blessing to be able to produce breast milk, not all moms are able to produce it.", commented Michelle Showgren a breast milk donor.

Michelle Emily Shogreen says she produces more than enough breast milk for her five month-old son Edrul Moses she decided to share the natural nutrition with other babies and began looking into milk banks. She found one in Austin, The Mothers Milk Bank, "It's a long process, labs, interviews, doctor visits and I was approved and then I shipped it over to Austin and they received it and then they sent me an email saying that Valley Regional was accepting milk."

While Valley Regional has ordered prescription breast milk for some time. On Wednesday, marked the first day that they are opening their own milk bank drop off site that will work closely with the Austin milk bank. They'll collect it here and then ship it to the Austin bank to be pasteurized and made safe for babies.

The milk will then be sent back here to Valley babies who are born premature or are critically ill, as Director of Women's Services, Karen Rhodes stated, "To us it's liquid gold because it can be the difference between life and death for a baby. They absorb it way easier, it rests good on their tummies, they gain weight quicker and they get the antibodies that come with it. It can really speed up their growth and recovery."

Here in the Valley, Rhodes says there is a real need for the donor milk, "We do have a high number of preemie babies and we order in 40 to 60 bottles every week to two weeks."

Michelle Emily Shogreen, "I live here in Brownsville and to just know babies here in Brownsville are going to get this breast milk makes me happy inside to be able to share this with them."

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