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Thank You, Neonatal Nurses!

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 7:42 pm
NICU nurse with baby

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.

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Neonatal Nurses Day

"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.

Latching On In Cowtown Supports Breastfeeding Worldwide

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 8:39 pm
Two moms breastfeeding during the 2015 Big Latch On.

What happens when more than 200 moms gather in Fort Worth to celebrate breastfeeding? The result is The Big Latch On, where moms come together and breastfeed their children at the same time. For first time event-goers, visualizing or even participating in this might seem strange. However, with a purpose of raising breastfeeding awareness and acceptance, this community effort suddenly feels warmhearted and empowering.

The Big Latch On is an international event with locations around the world, which is celebrated annually during World Breastfeeding Week. In Fort Worth, the free event is in conjunction with the 5th Annual Family Expo, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, August 6 at Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

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MMBNT table setup at 2015 Big Latch On.

“The Big Latch On has become Tarrant County’s signature yearly event that is ‘mother and baby friendly’ by showcasing breastfeeding in public,” Layne Walker, Secretary of Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition, said. “It’s a breastfeeding-friendly place for the whole family; a common oddity in our society. The event has helped to open the eyes of the public to view breastfeeding as the norm for nourishing and nurturing our children.”

Participating moms and children will head out to the Botanic Garden lawn at 10:30 a.m. to breastfeed together for one minute. During the 2015 event, 278 children latched at the same time. Over 50 vendors and activities will be located indoors in the Redbud & Oak Hall. 

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Vendor setup at 2014 Family Expo and Big Latch On.

“I see the Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition’s Big Latch On event continuing to grow as the annual Tarrant County breastfeeding promotional event for mothers and their families to be celebrated for their choice to provide breastmilk for their babies,” Pat Alridge, Executive Director of Women’s, Infants and Children's Services of JPS Health Network said. “The Big Latch On increases awareness of the challenges mothers face with continuing to breastfeed and provides an opportunity for support, advocacy and acceptance within the community.”

The Big Latch On and Family Expo is hosted by Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas and JPS Health Network. Be sure to RSVP to the event by clicking here and receive event updates and reminders.

Making Donation Convenient for Abilene Moms

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 1:08 pm
Abilene Regional Medical Center logo

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) and Abilene Regional Medical Center have established a new human milk depot on the hospital’s 3rd floor mother/baby unit. Mothers can conveniently drop off frozen breastmilk donations on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-2 p.m.

Abilene Regional Medical Center is located at 6250 Highway 83/84, approximately 175 miles west of Dallas/Fort Worth.

“We are thrilled to accommodate the generous mothers who are donating the extra milk their own babies don’t need,” Brittany Thompson, Clinical Educator for Women’s and Children’s Services, said. “We will safely store frozen donations before pasteurization and delivery to premature and fragile infants.”

Mothers who are interested in becoming donors can start the process by calling MMBNT’s toll-free number, 1.866.810.0071. For questions about the depot at Abilene Regional Medical Center, call 325-428-2416.

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Milk donation

Donors are screened through medical histories and blood tests. Once approved, moms freeze the extra milk their babies don’t need and take it to a depot close to home. Frozen milk arrives at the milk bank and is logged into a sophisticated barcode and tracking system. It is then thawed, analyzed, packaged in tamper-resistant bottles, pasteurized and tested for bacteria.

Donor milk has become the standard of care for premature infants who have severe feeding problems, intestinal malformations and life threatening complications such as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Eighty percent of MMBNT’s donor milk is dispensed by physician prescription to over 110 hospital NICUs. Twenty percent is dispensed by physician prescription to medically needy babies at home. In 2015, MMBNT dispensed a record 552,761 ounces.

About Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas
Located in Fort Worth’s medical district, Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to provide premature and critically ill infants with donor human milk when their own mother's milk is not available. Thanks to the generous donations from more than 5,500 mothers, over 2.5 million ounces of donated breastmilk have been dispensed to the babies who need it most. To donate breastmilk, please email moms@texasmilkbank.org or call 817.810.0071 or toll-free 1.866.810.0071. Learn more about milk banking at http://www.texasmilkbank.org.

A Closer Look at "Milk"

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 1:10 pm Milk movie banner
Milk movie event poster

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas will join UNT Health Science Center, JPS Hospital, Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition and Tarrant County Infant Health Network for a screening of the film “Milk” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12. This documentary displays perspectives of birth and feeding across the globe, from their similarities to their differences and the controversies in between.

Writer/Director Noemi Weis and her crew spent three years conducting research and filming, which took place in 11 countries and captured stories of women from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. During production, Weis discovered the struggles faced by mothers are often universal.

“They were all talking about the same issues, united by a strong feeling of motherhood that clearly had no borders,” Weis said.

The topics covered within the film range from judgment faced by both formula-feeding and breastfeeding mothers, to the reestablishment of the milk banking system after the 1980s HIV outbreak, to new mothers finding appropriate medical support.

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Milk movie poster

To collect stories from mothers, the production team coordinated travel to 35 cities around the world. It was an exhilarating experience, as described by the team, which allowed them to witness multiple births, become immersed in customs of other cultures and compile a meaningful narrative.

“I am hoping that by uniting women from around the world in the universal topics of motherhood, birth and life, together, we will create the much needed change to offer new lives bright and healthy futures,” Weis said.

This special screening is at UNT Health Science Center in room 124N of the Medical Education and Training Building. UNT Health Science Center is located at 1000 Montgomery Street in Fort Worth. Dinner is provided for the first 100 guests. There will be a Q&A session with an expert panel following the film.

To RSVP for the event, click here.

 

Stroll for a Cause

Thu, 04/07/2016 - 1:52 pm Milk Bank Stroll Logo

At Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, we know the great impact breastmilk can have on babies’ lives. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that because of its benefits, human milk should be fed to all preterm infants, and when a mother’s own milk is unavailable, human donor milk should be used.

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Miracle Milk Stroll Graphic

However, there is still a need to spread awareness about its life-saving properties. That’s where the Miracle Milk Stroll comes in.

The Miracle Milk Stroll is a casual walking event designed to raise awareness of and support for the human milk cause. Various organizations host strolls across the country to get as many breastfeeding moms, advocates and their loved ones involved as possible.

Net profits from fundraising efforts surrounding the Stroll will be distributed among the beneficiaries selected for this year – all nonprofits focused on providing human milk to sick babies. These include the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, NEC Society, La Leche League USA and the United States Lactation Consultant Association.

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Miracle Milk is a project of the Best for Babes Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to changing the cultural landscape surrounding breastfeeding and human milk. This is the third year Best for Babes has hosted this national event.

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Fairmount Park is located in Fort Worth’s Fairmount-Southside area on W. Maddox Avenue.

Staff at MMBNT are excited to host a Stroll site for the first time this year. The strolling group will meet at 10:00 am Saturday, May 14 in Fairmount Park, located near the MMBNT office in Fort Worth on W. Maddox Avenue between 5th Avenue and Henderson Street. The 1.2 mile route will take strollers to MMBNT and back by way of the popular Magnolia Avenue. Refreshments will be provided at MMBNT.

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One in eight babies is born prematurely, meaning there is a great need for human milk to help these fragile infants survive and thrive. Events such as the Miracle Milk Stroll shed light on this need and strengthen the community of human milk supporters. We look forward to seeing Fort Worth-area supporters at our site and raising awareness about “liquid gold” in our own backyard.

Click here to register for the Fort Worth Miracle Milk Stroll, and click here to RSVP to the Facebook event.

First Depot in the State of Georgia Opens

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 2:06 pm First Depot in the State of Georgia Opens

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) and North Georgia Breastfeeding Center (NGBC) established a new milk depot within NGBC, located at 107 Colony Park Drive #700 in Cumming, Georgia, to provide a convenient drop off location for donor breastmilk. Cumming is approximately 35 miles north of Atlanta.

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North Georgia Breastfeeding Center

Mothers can drop off their human milk donations at NGBC, which will be collected by staff and sent to MMBNT for pasteurization and shipment to critically ill infants. Donations are accepted Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., or by appointment by calling 678-965-0103. This is the first milk depot in the state of Georgia.

“It is with great honor and privilege that North Georgia Breastfeeding Center will have the opportunity to work with our surrounding communities to help facilitate donated breastmilk to save the lives of medically needy babies,” Amy Hammant, Clinical Director of NGBC, said. She adds, “As IBCLCs [lactation consultants], we are committed to the promotion, support and protection of breastfeeding. Breastmilk is nature’s first food and we are thrilled to be able to help provide this precious gift.”

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MMBNT collects donor milk from over 40 “depots” located in communities throughout North Texas and other states. Donors are screened through medical histories and blood tests. Once approved, moms freeze the extra milk their babies don’t need and take it to a depot close to home.

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Storage freezer for donor breastmilk

Frozen milk arrives at the milk bank and is logged into a sophisticated barcode and tracking system. It is then thawed, analyzed, packaged in tamper-resistant bottles, pasteurized and tested for bacteria.

Donor milk has become the standard of care for premature infants who have severe feeding problems, intestinal malformations and life threatening complications such as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Eighty percent of MMBNT’s donor milk is dispensed by physician prescription to over 110 hospital NICUs. Twenty percent is dispensed by physician prescription to medically needy babies at home. In 2015, MMBNT dispensed a record 552,761 ounces.

Methodist Mansfield Joins our Depot Network

Thu, 03/17/2016 - 2:22 pm Methodist Mansfield Logo
Photo courtesy of: www.methodisthealthsystem.org/mansfield

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas(MMBNT) has partnered with Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, 20 miles southwest of Fort Worth at 2700 E. Broad Street, to provide a convenient drop off location for donor breastmilk. Donations are accepted Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 2nd Floor Postpartum Nurses’ Station accessible from the elevators located in front of the gift shop.

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Mandi Longoria, Perinatal Education Lactation Coordinator, explains, “Donating breastmilk to help another baby is one of the most generous things a mother could do. We are so happy to make the process easy and accommodating. Methodist Mansfield will safely store frozen donor milk before it is transported to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas for pasteurization.”

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Mom Amanda and daughter Reagan drop off one of the first donations at Methodist Mansfield, accepted by Mandi Longoria.

MMBNT collects donor milk from over 40 “depots” located in communities throughout North Texas and other states. Donors are screened through medical histories and blood tests. Once approved, moms freeze the extra milk their babies don’t need and take it to a depot close to home.

Frozen milk arrives at the milk bank and is logged into a sophisticated barcode and tracking system. It is then thawed, analyzed, packaged in tamper-resistant bottles, pasteurized and tested for bacteria.

Donor milk has become the standard of care for premature infants who have severe feeding problems, intestinal malformations and life threatening complications such as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Eighty percent of MMBNT’s donor milk is dispensed by physician prescription to over 110 hospital NICUs. Twenty percent is dispensed by physician prescription to medically needy babies at home. In 2015, MMBNT dispensed a record 552,761 ounces.

For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, click here.