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Northwest Mothers Milk Bank sees uptick in donations as formula shortage continues

Northwest Mothers Milk Bank sees uptick in donations as formula shortage continues
Northwest Mothers Milk Bank sees uptick in donations as formula shortage continues
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:37 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The Northwest Mothers Milk Bank has been busy recently.

“This is very unprecedented. Never have we seen this happen,” Executive Director, Lesley Mondeaux, said.

First, they’ve helped families navigate formula recalls and now, a nation-wide shortage of formula.

“Our heart really break for the families. It’s very stressful and as everyone knows having a new baby is very stressful anyway,” she said.

Mondeaux said they typically prioritize getting donor milk to medically fragile babies in hospitals. But now, she said the calls from families wanting to donate milk has almost tripled since the news of the shortage, expanding their reach. They’re able to help more families in the short term as this shortage continues.

“We have definitely gotten a lot of phone calls from amazingly generous people across the northwest wanting to help remedy this crisis,” she said.

If you’re in need of donor milk, she suggests calling your healthcare provider before going to the milk bank.

“They’re kind of the first line to help them evaluate what the need actually is because it’s so different for every baby based on how old they are, if they need a certain type of formula,” Mondeaux said.

If you want to do your part by donating, you just need to meet a few requirements.

“If you are healthy and you’re non-smoking, and you’re finding yourself with more milk than your own baby needs,” she said.

That milk is then tested, and the donor gets a free blood test to check for any viruses that could be passed through the milk.

“We take our safety standards very seriously. We want to make sure the milk is, you know, the highest quality that we can get because we are serving such a vulnerable population,” she said.

Parents can drop of donations to their office in Tigard, at one of 44 milk drop sites, or the milk bank can send you a prepaid shipping box.

“The families are so, so grateful,” Mondeaux said.

If you’d like to become a donor, you can go to their website. (https://www.donatemilk.org/donate-milk)