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Say Hello to Our Newest Dallas Depot

marayMon, 07/17/2017 - 8:49 pm Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas logo
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas logo

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is the newest breastmilk collection site for Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT), making it easier for Dallas moms to donate to babies in need.

 

Mothers who want to donate their excess breastmilk can drop off their donations at the hospital’s Special Care Nursery on the 6th floor of the Jackson Building, located at 8200 Walnut Hill Ln. They will need to press the call button by the door to receive assistance from a nurse.

 

Special Care Nursery staff will securely store the milk before sending it to MMBNT in Fort Worth for pasteurization and shipment to critically ill infants. Donations are accepted 7 days a week at all hours, except during shift change from 6 to 7:30 a.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m.

 

"Texas Health Dallas has come full circle helping fragile infants," lactation nurse Nancy Kelley said. "Not only do we utilize donor human milk for babies in our NICU, we can now conveniently accept donations from moms in our Special Care Nursery. It's where many babies go after they have been in the NICU."

 

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Pasteurized, frozen donor milk, ready for use.

MMBNT collects donor human milk from more than 40 donation sites, or depots, throughout North Texas and surrounding areas. Texas Health Dallas is one of five depots in Dallas.

 

Milk bank staff screen all potential milk donors through medical histories and blood tests. Once approved, donors freeze the extra milk their own babies don’t need and take it to a depot close to home.

 

When milk arrives at MMBNT, staff log it into a computer barcode and tracking system. It then undergoes processing, which includes thawing, nutritional analysis, pasteurization and bacterial testing.

 

Donor human milk is the standard of care for premature infants without access to mother’s own milk who have severe feeding problems, intestinal malformations and life-threatening complications such as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Eighty percent of MMBNT’s donor milk serves babies in hospital NICUs, while 20 percent serves medically needy babies at home.

 

Those who are interested in becoming donors can start the process by calling MMBNT at (817) 810-0071. To speak to someone at Texas Health Dallas's depot, call the lactation department at (214) 345-2557.

 

The Big Latch On: Coming Back to Cowtown

marayMon, 06/19/2017 - 8:45 pm Woman with baby peruses baby items for sale.
Woman with baby peruses baby items for sale.

Just picture it: a lawn full of mothers and children, all breastfeeding at the same time, supporting and encouraging each other. It may sound like a scene out of your imagination, but it’s a real event that happens every year right here in Fort Worth. This public celebration of breastfeeding and families is called The Big Latch On.

 

Fort Worth is one of hundreds of cities to join the global initiative when mothers around the world will gather to breastfeed together. The goal is to latch all participating children at the same time for one minute. It happens annually during World Breastfeeding Week in August. The Fort Worth event takes place in conjunction with a free Family Expo from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, August 5 at Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

 

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Families gather on the Botanic Garden lawn to participate in the Big Latch On.

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 2016 event, 277 children latched at the same time. This year, more than 40 vendors and activities, including a silent auction, photo booth and photo buttons will be located indoors in Redbud and Oak Hall.

 

“I am excited to see the Family Expo & Big Latch On continue to grow in its sixth year. The event highlights the reality that our community really does support breastfeeding for all families,” Amanda Alvarez, chair of Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition, said. “We have had great success in improving breastfeeding education, advocacy and resource development in Tarrant County, but our work is not done. Families still struggle to reach their breastfeeding goals so we continue our efforts to build a supportive and knowledgeable network within the community. When families, businesses and community organizations come together to celebrate breastfeeding, everyone wins!”

 

The 6th Annual Family Expo & Big Latch On 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 to receive event updates and reminders. Participants in the Big Latch On should register on the global website here.

 

Newest Depot Opens in Nacogdoches

marayTue, 06/13/2017 - 1:32 pm Staff and supporters of Nacogdoches Women's Services
Staff and supporters of Nacogdoches Women's Services
Nacogdoches Women's Services celebrated their depot opening with a reception.

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) opened its newest breastmilk donation site at Nacogdoches Women’s Services, located at 623 Russell Blvd., to make milk donation convenient for East Texas moms.

 

Mothers who want to donate their excess breastmilk can drop off their donations at Nacogdoches Women’s Services, where staff will securely store the milk before sending it to MMBNT in Fort Worth for pasteurization and shipment to critically ill infants. Donations are accepted Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

 

“We are honored to have the opportunity to work with our community to help facilitate donated breastmilk to save the lives of medically fragile babies,” Marcia Nelson, Director of Nacogdoches Women’s Services, said.

 

MMBNT collects donor human milk from more than 40 donation sites, or depots, throughout North Texas and surrounding states. Nacogdoches Women's Services is the first depot in the Nacogdoches area and the third in East Texas.

 

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Frozen, unlogged donor human milk
Donor milk is kept safe and frozen while at Nacogdoches Women's Services.

Milk bank staff screen all potential milk donors through medical histories and blood tests. Once approved, donors freeze the extra milk their own babies don’t need and take it to a depot close to home.

 

When milk arrives at MMBNT, staff log it into a computer barcode and tracking system. It then undergoes processing, which includes thawing, nutritional analysis, pasteurization and bacterial testing.

 

Donor human milk is 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 serves babies in hospital NICUs, while 20 percent serves medically needy babies at home.

 

Those who are interested in becoming donors can start the process by calling MMBNT’s toll-free number, 1-866-810-0071. For more information about Nacogdoches Women’s Services, call 936-305-5277.

Spreading the Word During Preeclampsia Awareness Month

marayWed, 05/24/2017 - 1:35 pm Mother with her baby in the NICU
Mother with baby in NICU
Submitted by Danielle B.

When you think of holidays and recognitions in May, Mother’s Day is at the top of the list. However, it’s not the only time dedicated to women – the month of May is also Preeclampsia Awareness Month.

 

Present only during pregnancy and the postpartum period, preeclampsia is a serious disorder that affects approximately 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies. It’s characterized by high blood pressure in the mother, but also affects the unborn baby. The only cure for preeclampsia is delivery, so depending on when the condition develops, it can be a contributing factor to prematurity.

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Ronnie, a donor milk recipient
Ronnie, a donor milk recipient, was born early due to preeclampsia.

It usually occurs after 20 weeks gestation and can happen up to six weeks postpartum. Symptoms include swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision. The cause of preeclampsia is still being researched, though several theories focus on the production of proteins in the placenta.

 

There is no definite way to prevent preeclampsia, but making good choices such as limiting fried or junky food, exercising regularly and getting enough rest can help you manage your health. Simply being aware of the condition is also beneficial. Recently, the ABC sitcom Black-ish addressed preeclampsia on its season finale and shed some important light on this disorder.

 

Some of the fragile babies we serve are born prematurely because of complications like preeclampsia. As it's a condition experienced by many people in our community, it's important to raise awareness in order to support those who are affected.

 

For more information about the babies we serve, click here.

 

Learning & Growing at the NEC Symposium

marayWed, 04/12/2017 - 5:48 pm Jennifer Canvasser presents at the NEC Symposium.
NEC Society logo

Necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, is a severe disease affecting premature infants which causes parts of the intestine to die. A NEC diagnosis is devastating, and can often turn fatal. Jennifer Canvasser is all too familiar with the disease. Her son Micah lost his battle with NEC when he was just 11 months old. After her loss, Jennifer saw a need for a group dedicated to fighting this disease and protecting the babies at risk. In order to promote research, advocacy and support for those affected by NEC, she founded the NEC Society.

The NEC Society is always looking for new ways to support its community, and this year brought a new opportunity. It hosted its first ever NEC Symposium last week at the University of California at Davis. During this conference, medical professionals discussed the current pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of NEC; created a forum for collaboration; discussed empowerment of NEC-affected families and much more. Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas Medical Director, Erin Hamilton Spence, represented MMBNT at the symposium.

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Jennifer Canvasser presents at the NEC Symposium
Jennifer Canvasser presents at the NEC Symposium. Photo courtesty of the NEC Society.

“The NEC Society’s first symposium was unlike any conference I’ve been to,” Dr. Hamilton Spence said. “It focused on families and their experience, while teaching doctors, lactation consultants and families the areas of hope for wiping out this disease. I learned a great deal, and will definitely be going back.”

It’s important to be at the forefront of issues that affect the population served by milk banking. The NEC Symposium was a great opportunity to network with the top minds in this field, and we were grateful for the chance to connect with these colleagues for such an important issue.

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

Awareness Campaign Debuts in Fort Worth

marayWed, 04/05/2017 - 1:22 pm 360 West magazine ad
360 West magazine ad
Ad in 360 West's April issue

For our donors, recipients, volunteers and other members of our milk bank family, the mission and services of Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas are common knowledge. However, there are many people who don’t know about milk banking, or that there is a milk bank right in the heart of Fort Worth. There are those in the community who could benefit from donor milk or help spread the word to others if they simply were aware.

Thanks to an award from the ToolBox Grants Fund at the North Texas Community Foundation, the dream of reaching more people in Fort Worth is becoming a reality. The grant MMBNT received is for a community awareness campaign designed to reach people in and around the city.

The first piece of our campaign, a half-page ad in 360 West Magazine, hit mailboxes last week. Later this month, our new billboard will debut at the corner of Camp Bowie Boulevard and Bryant Irvin Road in west Fort Worth, and remain there through mid-summer.

More advertisements and elements will be released throughout the spring and summer, all with a goal of educating the community about MMBNT and donor human milk. We are so thankful for this support from the North Texas Community Foundation, and if you spot one of our ads while you’re out and about, be sure to snap a photo and let us know!

Thank You, Neonatal Nurses!

marayWed, 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

marayWed, 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

marayThu, 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"

marayThu, 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.