Feb 2, 2022 - News

Breast milk donations are up in Florida despite national shortages

Illustration of a battery icon, but the outline is shaped like a bottle of milk.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Despite reported shortages of breast milk across the country, there's a good supply at Mother's Milk Bank of Florida β€” enough to meet the needs of its birthing hospitals.

Driving the news: As another consequence of the pandemic, donations are reportedly declining at breast milk banks across the U.S., like this one in Austin.

  • "There's no need to panic," Lindsay Groff, director of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, told The Guardian.
  • But if "you feel compelled to help someone β€” now is the time. Now, now, now, we need help now."

Zoom in: Kandis Natoli, executive director of Mother's Milk Bank of Florida, tells Axios that "Florida moms sent a vast amount of milk" during the pandemic, and their landlord, OneBlood, made a walk-in freezer available for storage.

What they're saying: "Donations are still up and we still need the walk-in freezer," Natoli tells us.

  • Demand was down slightly in 2020, but is now considerably greater than the pre-pandemic volume distributed, she says.

How it works: Healthy lactating mothers donate, and the nonprofit collects, processes and distributes pasteurized human milk to vulnerable babies when milk from the baby's mother is not available.

What's next: Milk Bank of Florida has been opening new Milk Drop Depots across the state in anticipation of an increase in demand. Two new bills now before the Florida legislature (SB 1770, HB 1333) propose Medicaid reimbursement for donated milk.

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