BELMONT, N.H. —
New Hampshire now has its first prescription breast milk donor dispensary.
The facility is a partnership between Lakes Region General Hospital Healthcare and Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.
Donor milk is needed for a variety of reasons.
Ella Johnson, 2 and a half, was born with hypoglycemia. When her mother’s breast milk hadn’t come in yet, Ella needed help.
“My option was to try her on formula to try to get her sugars up, or to try some donated breast milk, and being as dedicated to breastfeeding as I was, I knew what my answer was going to be,” said Kristin Johnson, of Wolfeboro, Ella’s mother. “I said, ‘Absolutely, if we have breast milk, I’d like to do that.’ And sure enough, that did the trick: It brought her right out of the woods of hypoglycemia and that was all she needed.”
Babies can receive donor milk in the hospital, but once home, families in New Hampshire previously had to order the milk from Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast in Massachusetts.
Doctors said the dispensary helps ensure access to much-needed breast milk.
Not only is it the first dispensary in New Hampshire, it is the first dispensary in the northeast. The Belmont facility will then become the role model for all future dispensaries in the region.
The milk bank collects from mothers who have more milk than their babies need.
“We take the milk from about three or four moms and we will combine it in a big beaker in our lab, and then our lab techs will pour it into tiny little bottles and the bottles go into the pasteurizer,” said Ann Marie Lindquist, of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.
For safety reasons, donors are screened and must get