While Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas is a vital part of caring for critically ill infants today, 12 years ago it was just getting started. Before the establishment of MMBNT, local neonatologists utilized donor milk from other milk banks in neonatal intensive care units. It soon became clear that North Texas needed its own milk bank to meet the demand for donor milk in the area.
Dr. Susan Sward-Comunelli, a Fort Worth neonatologist, organized a group of child health advocates to support the establishment of a local milk bank. This group believed in serving babies with donor milk from this community and others across North Texas.
Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas dispensed its first batch of milk in the fall of 2004. In 2004, MMBNT dispensed 4,155 ounces to premature and critically ill infants. Steady growth meant that the milk bank outgrew its first location within Fort Worth’s Child Study Center. To accommodate the increasing amount of milk both received and dispensed, MMBNT moved to its current location on West Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth in 2011.
With each year, MMBNT has continued to serve more babies in need. In 2015, 552,761 ounces were dispensed, and the milk bank is on track for more growth in 2016. So far, 2016 has welcomed 520 new donor moms and 5 new milk collection sites, or depots.
“The future is very bright at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas,” Amy Vickers, Executive Director, said. “Our staff is passionate about helping premature and critically ill infants, and strives to serve more every year. We are excited about our growth and furthering our special mission of saving tiny, precious lives.”
For more information about Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas, click here.
About 80 percent of the donor milk processed at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas is dispensed to hospitals, where it is provided to inpatient babies in need. Nurses are critical in caring for these infants, making them an important part of our milk bank family. September 15 is a day to celebrate these nurses and all they do. Recognized annually as National Neonatal Nurses Day, this day honors the nurses who provide critical care to the tiniest patients.
Neonatal nurses work with newborn infants who are born with a variety of complications, including premature birth, infections, birth defects and many other problems. Their care for these infants typically extends from birth to when they are discharged from the hospital. While the neonatal period encompasses the first month of life, care can be extended if an infant’s complications are long-term. A few NICU nurses shared how they feel about their jobs:
"When I started in the NICU in 1981, I quickly realized what a privilege it was to "fill in for the momma". Feeding, comforting, holding, loving and adoring their baby until they could go home! (In addition to providing oxygen therapy, post op care, IV medications and special nutrition which could not be done at home). From a 660 gram triplet to an 11 pound baby, all sizes/diagnosis were taken care of." - Cindy S.
"It's such a blessing that few people are lucky to have to be able to do this job. I can't imagine what it's like to have a baby in the NICU. But I hope that through what we do - caring for and loving their babies - while they can't be there, can give parents some comfort. And we do love them. Some people ask how we do it. My answer is always the same. It's hard sometimes, there are definitely good and bad days but the good far outweighs the bad. When you take care of a little 500 gram baby who is fighting for their life every day...then finally see them reach the day where they are a breathing on their own, eating on their own, and get to go home with their parents. That makes it all worth it." - Rachel L.
This year’s Neonatal Nurses Day theme is “Healing Hands, Generous Hearts”. The theme is meant to recognize both the skill and talent required of neonatal nurses, as well as their nurturing hearts that help them care for patients and their families.
We are so thankful for the nurses who care for the infants we serve. Their passion and dedication make a priceless impact on babies’ lives. If you know a neonatal nurse, be sure to thank him or her today!
For more information about Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas, click here.
September is a special month at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. It’s the time we recognize our history and celebrate our accomplishments since the milk bank’s founding in September 2004. The month is topped off with an annual luncheon. This year’s celebration, A Dozen Reasons for a Dozen Years, will take place at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, September 29, at Ridglea Country Club.
Guests will enjoy a presentation from Jennifer Canvasser, a donor mom and founder of the NEC Society. Jennifer founded the NEC Society after losing her son Micah to the disease, which is a severe intestinal infection that occurs in nearly 10 percent of premature infants. Feeding premature infants donor milk has been shown to reduce the risk of NEC by 79 percent.
In addition to the presentation, guests will also be able to enter a raffle for a variety of prizes, from local restaurant gift cards to gift baskets from boutiques and popular fitness clubs.
The event is supported by many generous sponsors, including: Pediatrix Medical Group – Fort Worth Neonatology, Methodist Health System, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Andrews Women’s Hospital at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, JPS Foundation, Pier 1 Imports, Southwest Bank, Amy E. Shewbart Foundation, Newborn Nightingales and Texas Health Huguley Hospital.
Individual tickets are $65. Event proceeds from individual ticket sales, sponsorships and raffle ticket sales, will go toward the Milk Money Fund, which ensures all outpatients with a medical necessity are able to receive donor milk regardless of the family’s ability to pay processing fees. To purchase your ticket, click here.
We hope to see you at Ridglea on September 29!
For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, click here.
When a potential donor mom contacts Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas for the first time, she’s directed to one of our donor coordinators. From this first contact to the last donation, donor moms and donor coordinators stay closely connected. It’s an important job at the milk bank, and Sam is happy to help moms through the donation process.
Sam joined the staff as a donor coordinator in August 2015. Her interest in nonprofit organizations is what initially drew her to MMBNT. Being a part of the milk bank is more than just a job, though. “Our group of co-workers feels like a family,” Sam said.
A typical day includes screening potential donors through phone interviews, working on donor files and producing daily reports. Sam is always by her phone, ready to answer any questions from donors or prepare overnight shipping materials for those donors who don’t live near a drop off site.
Between incoming and outgoing calls, emails and donors stopping by the milk bank, Sam is in almost constant communication with donors during the day. She and Salvadora, the other donor coordinator, keep busy managing all things donor-related.
There’s never a dull moment for Sam, even outside of work. Her children Monique, Andre and Ethan keep her on her toes.
To Sam, MMBNT is special because everyone is focused on helping premature and critically ill infants. “Breastmilk is in high demand, and we’re able to provide it to babies in need,” she said.
We love having Sam in our MMBNT family and are so grateful for the work she does with donors!
For more information about becoming a donor, click here.
Throughout the month of August, we have featured stories about breastfeeding from our community and around the world in celebration of Breastfeeding Awareness Month. The Huffington Post shone a light on breastfeeding as well with a great article from Impact Editor Eleanor Goldberg. Take a look at her article about breastfeeding and its role in global issues.
It will cost between $3.3 trillion and $4.5 trillion a year to end hunger, eliminate poverty and achieve 15 other ambitious goals the U.N. hopes to reach by 2030.
But getting help meeting the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals could come from an overlooked resource ― breastfeeding.
World Breastfeeding Week, which ended on Sunday, committed this year’s efforts to demonstrating how the practice may help contribute to achieving the SDGs by improving the health and wellbeing of women and children, and in turn, society at large.
To read the rest of the article, click here.