Second milk depot: Mayo now accepting collections at southeast clinic
Rochester's second milk collection depot opened this week.
Mayo Family Clinic Southeast began accepting donated breast milk on Monday. The collection depot is part of the Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa, a network that collects, processes, stores and distributes human milk to babies who are the most fragile, vulnerable and at risk. There are now about 30 such places in Minnesota.
Once the milk is collected, it will be placed in a freezer and sent in for pasteurizing and distribution throughout Iowa and Minnesota, including individual mothers in our area. Mayo uses pasteurized human milk in areas such as Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Intermediate Special Care Nursery.
Mayo says decades of research have established that human milk is the perfect food for infants. Dr. Jay Hoecker, emeritus pediatrics specialist at Mayo, wrote in 2015 that breast milk is the "ideal food for babies — and the best way to keep a baby healthy." He called it the "gold standard for nutrition."
Women willing to donate milk are required to go through a screening process. Hours for delivering donated milk are weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Anyone interested in starting the process can call 1-877-891-5347.)
In the past year, 6,800 women have donated 3.77 million ounces of milk through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Another local institution, Olmsted Medical Center, has been collecting breast milk since September.
(Cover graphic: Mayo Clinic)