The McLean County Health Department will soon be home to one of the area's only breast milk depots.
Pre-screened, lactating women will be able to drop off excess breast milk at the health department to help medically fragile babies in central Illinois and beyond. The milk will be sent to the Mother's Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes, where it will be pasteurized, screened and distributed to neonatal intensive care units throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.
“This is not just a WIC project, this is a public health initiative. It is much larger than simply providing a storage place for human milk," said Tammy Brooks, who will supervise the program. "We are contributing to a process that saves the lives of babies and hope to not only increase awareness of human milk banking but also increase awareness and support of breastfeeding as a public health imperative.”
The grand opening of the milk depot at the health department's office in Bloomington is set for Feb. 14. Interested women should call the Mothers' Milk Bank Western Great Lakes at (847) 262-5134 to get started.