The New York Milk Bank serves as a resource during formula shortage

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's 11pm Newscast.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 12:18 AM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) - 12 News is looking at resources to help mothers of newborns navigate these times with alternatives as there’s a ripple effect being felt with the formula shortage. One possible alternative is going through The New York Milk Bank, which has a collection site here in Broome County located at 161 Riverside Dr.

Before any transition to cows milk can take place, a newborn’s life begins with breast milk or formula.

With a formula shortage, the Executive Director of The New York Milk Bank, Linda Harelick, mentions the benefits of breast milk. “In terms the composition, it’s the perfect balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It has all the nutrients that’s required for babies as well as helping to build their immunity,” she said.

The New York Milk Bank is a resource for mothers of the Empire State who prefer breast milk for their newborn or for cases when needed in the NICU.

At the local level, there’s a milk depot through the non-profit in Binghamton. “They act as collection sites for donor milk,” said Harelick.

Laura Walker, RNC, IBCLC at Lourdes, had additional comments about the partnership between and milk depot and milk bank. “The milk depot was created by the NY Milk Bank as part of their outreach. So it’s a convenient collect site for women who may not have access to be able to drop off milk or it’s inconvenient for them to go to the post office.”

To assist mothers, there’s a process for donors that begins with the bank’s website.“They can fill out an application, there’s a screening process, there’s a blood test, and clearance by their doctor,” said Harelick. “They can ship it to us. We pay for the shipping or they can drop it off at a milk depot.”

“They have to be an approved donor first before they can drop their milk off with us,” said Walker.

Priority is placed on premature infants and medically fragile babies in the hospital. “When we have availability, which we do right now, full-term healthy babies who require donor milk can also receive it,” said Harelick.

To learn more about donating and receiving milk, visit this website.

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