SARASOTA, Fla. -- Sarasota Memorial Hospital has opened its new Milk Depot, making it easier than ever for moms to donate their breast milk.
Donors have to be screened much like blood donation, and the milk is pasteurized to get rid of any diseases and viruses.
The donations are specifically for premature babies. Typically only babies weighing less than three pounds will meet the criteria for donated breast milk.
Several studies suggest that human milk is better for premature babies than formula, giving them the strength they need to recover.
"To be able to give that gift to another mother so that they can take their baby home," said donor Kim Cannon. "It just feels really special to be able to do that for somebody"
Carly Yocke gave birth to her son Nicholas on Tuesday. He was 10 weeks premature, and will greatly benefit from this milk donation.
"I am so grateful I almost want to cry, she said. I'm just so blessed that I came to this hospital."
Local moms interested in donating their breast milk can start the screening process by calling the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Florida at (407) 248-5050 or visiting milkbankofflorida.org. Once approved, they can bring their frozen milk to SMH’s Milk Depot, which accepts donations daily (7am-6pm Mon-Fri; 10am- 4pm weekends).