Hendricks County’s first milk depot site opens

DANVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – Hendricks Regional Health partnered with The Milk Bank to open Hendricks County’s first milk depot site. The grand opening of the new site was Monday.

According to a release, the donations to The Milk Bank will go toward keeping the community’s children healthy.

The collection site will be at the Hendricks Regional Health Pediatric Unit. It provides a drop off for women to donate their extra breast milk. After the hospital receives the donations, they are sent to The Milk Bank for processing and then delivered to infants in need in hospital neonatal intensive care units.

“There is a huge need for donor milk. Our fragile infants in the NICU we do see it as medicine as well as nutrition. Sick infants in the NICU really require human milk to be able to thrive and heal,” said Sarah Long, clinical coordinator with The Milk Bank.

She hopes this new drop-off site will make it easier for mothers to donate.

“Our mothers are already going above and beyond to provide safe human milk for our infants and they’ve gone through the process of screening. We have provided them with everything they need to do to be able to donate their milk, so we need to make this as easy as possible for them,” said Long.

Indianapolis is the next closest donation site for people who live in Hendricks County.

“It’s something easy that we’re already usually pumping. So it’s something that if you’ve got the excess, especially if you live here in Danville you can just run right over to the hospital. The application process is really easy and the milk bank provides everything for you and they pay for everything and so really you’re just kind of donating something you already had extra of,” said Amy Highfield, a milk donor.

“This really is lifesaving and our babies throughout the Midwest, they always need human milk even if it is just that first part of that baby’s life. It really helps them to get out of the NICU much faster,” said Long.

This milk depot joins a network of 24 others in the state.

For more information on how you can get involved visit The Milk Bank website here.