At Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, we value community involvement. Sharing our mission with others means more people understand the importance of donor milk, which can inspire some moms to become milk donors and others to use donor milk when they are in need. It is also a way to support other people and organizations in our area who share similar missions and values with us.
In the past few weeks, our staff has been busy participating in many events throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We hosted our 13th anniversary luncheon, Little Babies and Big Dreams, at the end of September. Medical professionals and friends of the milk bank gathered to celebrate another year of milk banking and raise funds for our programs, all while enjoying lunch and a variety of great prizes in our raffle.
In addition to hosting our own luncheon, the milk bank was out in full force at conferences and other events. We mingled with families at the Texas Health Harris Southwest NICU Reunion and educated employees at the Lockheed Martin Volunteer/Nonprofit Agency Fair. We were thrilled to share our mission and discuss volunteer opportunities with Lockheed employees, as Lockheed’s AERO Club has been a financial supporter of MMBNT for many years.
Staff also attended the Tarrant County Infant Health Summit held in Colleyville, and showcased our educational materials available for healthcare professionals during the Preemie Parent Summit held at Cook Children's Medical Center. Our schedules have been full, and connecting with other infant health professionals and advocates has made it all worth it.
Thousands of ounces of milk flow through Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas every week, so proper handling and organization in the office and lab is a must. Each deposit from each donor is carefully recorded and tracked all the way through processing and pasteurization, starting in the logging room.
The logging room is the beginning of the journey for donated human milk. This is where frozen donations are stored right when they arrive at the milk bank, whether from a depot or delivered directly from a donor. There are program assistants on staff at MMBNT who monitor this milk and ensure it is logged into the database, Timeless Medical Systems, correctly.
Each deposit of milk is organized according to its donor. Each donor has her own ID number in the Timeless database, and her profile includes her donation history and relevant health information. The program assistants also take note of the earliest and latest pump date in each deposit, as well as the volume of the deposit in ounces. All this information goes into Timeless, as well as on an index card stored with the deposit for easy identification.
The database also records the specific freezer where each deposit is stored. The logging room contains many freezers with dozens of deposits in each one, so recording the location in the database makes it easier to find a specific deposit. This particularly comes in handy for the lab staff, who at the end of the day gather all deposits that will be processed the next day.
With so many moving parts in the milk bank, organization is vital to everyday operations. This first step helps set up a smooth process for every ounce that enters our doors.
Premature infants enter the world in a fragile state. Without the immune systems of full-term babies, they have an increased risk for complications and require special care that often includes a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. One complication that can affect premature infants is sepsis, a life-threatening illness, which is recognized during the month of September with Sepsis Awareness Month.
Sepsis is a severe infection that is found in the blood and spreads throughout the body. There are a variety of symptoms, including apnea (difficulty breathing), decreased heart rate, temperature instability and pale or mottled coloring or jaundice.
While this infection can be a cause for concern, studies have shown that breastmilk lowers the risk of late-onset sepsis, or sepsis that occurs after the first week of life. In fact, every 0.15 ounces of human milk per pound that a very low birth weight infant receives during the first 28 days of life decreases the odds of sepsis by almost 20 percent.
When a mother’s own milk is not available, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas provides fragile babies with miraculous, life-saving donor human milk, and helps protect them from complications such as this. For more information about donor milk, click here.
North Texas Giving Day is a fixture of the Dallas-Fort Worth nonprofit community. Communities Foundation of Texas created this day of philanthropy in 2009, encouraging people to give to their favorite nonprofits during one of the first community-wide giving events in the world.
The goal is to help build awareness and support for nonprofits in our region, and North Texas Giving Day has certainly accomplished that over the years. Since the first event in 2009, it has raised $156 million for more than 2,500 local nonprofits.
This year, North Texas Giving Day is Thursday, September 14 from 6 a.m. to midnight. Donors can visit the North Texas Giving Day website to learn all about the participating nonprofits, as well as make their donations. In the past, all giving had to take place on the actual day; however, scheduled giving has been added this year.
Donors can schedule gifts from 8 a.m. Thursday, September 7 to midnight Wednesday, September 13. If donors are busy on September 14 or just want to take care of their gifts in advance, scheduled giving is a perfect option. Just like regular giving, this can be done on the North Texas Giving Day website.
Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas has participated for several years, and we look forward to another great year. Donations to the milk bank will go toward our programs that help us serve the most fragile members of our population, such as our charitable care program. MMBNT can be found in the Health Care & Medical Research Category of participating nonprofits.
For more information about North Texas Giving Day, visit the website.
Every fall, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas celebrates its anniversary with a luncheon. The milk bank opened in the fall of 2004, and since then has provided safe, pasteurized donor human milk to premature and fragile babies in the community. This year, the celebratory luncheon will take place at 11:30 am Thursday, September 21, at River Crest Country Club.
Guests will enjoy lunch, dessert and a presentation about the exciting future of MMBNT. Additionally, there will be a raffle containing a variety of prizes, from local restaurant gift cards to gift baskets from local stores and boutiques.
Several sponsors are already lined up for this year’s celebration, including our Gold Sponsor, Pediatrix Medical Group – Fort Worth Neonatology.
Individual tickets are $75, $50 of which is a tax-deductible donation. All money raised at the event, including ticket sales, sponsorships and raffle ticket sales will go toward our programs that help babies in need. To purchase a ticket, click here.
We hope to see you at River Crest on September 21!
For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, click here.