Englewood Hospital and Medical Center now offers pasteurized human donor milk (PDHM) to the most vulnerable preterm infants in its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Donor milk is rapidly becoming the standard of care for early feedings of preterm infants and low birth weight babies when mother’s milk is unavailable or cannot be used due to medications or illness. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends all preterm babies receive human milk because of its proven benefits.
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center receives its donor human milk from Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast, a nonprofit community milk bank that operates under the guidelines of the HuEHMC_DonorMilk3 man Milk Banking Association of North America.
To ensure safety, all donor mothers are required to undergo a comprehensive screening process, including a detailed health history, blood work and physician approval.
Milk from mothers who pass the screening is then pasteurized and tested by an independent lab for an added level of safety.
“Human milk is easily digested and contains the necessary nutrients, enzymes, growth factors and hormones essential for growth and development,” says Dr. Loren Deluca, a neonatologist at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and its PDHM program coordinator.
“It also decreases the risk of infections in preemies, especially a life-threatening infection called necrotizing enterocolitis. Pasteurized donor human milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants. We are proud to be among the hospitals nationwide to partner with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast to provide pasteurized donor human milk to mothers and babies in need.”