Effingham Co. Health Dept. partners with group to donate breast milk


EFFINGHAM, Ill. (WAND) - The Effingham County Health Department is one of only six locations in Illinois that are associated with an Indianapolis-based organization that supplies pasteurized breast milk babies in need.

15 women have donated to the health department a total of nearly 20,000 ounces of breast milk.

In February, the Effingham County Health Department celebrated its first year of serving the community for The Milk Bank of Indianapolis, a nonprofit organization that provides the human milk for premature and ill infants across the country, with a physician's order for the need.

The goal is to have a "milk depot" in each county.

The health departments receive, pack and ship the milk to The Milk Bank. Donors bring their milk to the depot frozen and in coolers. Any amounts of donations are accepted.

To participate, donors must file paperwork through The Milk Bank to see if they qualify. They will go through a phone interview, complete some lab work and an application process. There is no fee to donate and all of the processing, including blood work on the mother, is done at no cost to the donor. Shipping costs are paid by The Milk Bank. Pumping supplies are at the donor's expense.

All donated milk is put through a pasteurization process, which destroys many bacteria and viruses, including HIV.

Those interested in becoming a registered donor should call (217) 240-1907.

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