February 18, 2016
EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) and NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank are excited to announce the opening of the Lois Hole Milk Drop in Edmonton.
Located in the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s Lois Hole Hospital for Women, this milk drop will serve as a site for approved breastfeeding mothers to drop off their milk, which is then sent to NorthernStar’s lab to be pasteurized and dispensed to sick and fragile babies in hospitals and communities across Canada.
This is the city’s second milk drop, joining the Grey Nuns Milk Drop, which opened in 2012.
“We are excited to be working alongside NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank on this initiative,” says Janie Tyrrell, AHS Executive Director for Women’s Health.
“Edmonton is a giving, vibrant community and we know many mothers will be interested in participating in this important, life-changing donor program.
“While mother’s own milk is preferred, it is not always available for some babies. Scientific research supports that babies who receive donor human milk become stronger and more resilient, reducing their time in hospital and reducing their likelihood of illness as children and adults.”
As a charitable organization, NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank is Canada’s only community-based milk bank.
As advocates and champions for healthy babies, the agency’s goal is to connect donor human milk with as many vulnerable babies as possible. NorthernStar screens breastfeeding mothers as milk donors, accepting their milk as donations to be pasteurized in their laboratory and dispensed to sick babies.
Milk is triaged, ensuring the sickest babies receive the milk first. Premature babies who spend time in the NICU depend on human milk for its life-saving benefits.
This year, the milk bank anticipates it will dispense more than 140,000 ounces (more than 1,000 gallons) of donor human milk.
“Across our prairie provinces, these milk drop locations remove barriers for donor mothers to participate in a movement that saves lives,” says Jannette Festival, Executive Director, NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank.
“Edmonton has shown a need for donor human milk and we welcome the participation of breastfeeding mothers to help support the demand.”
New milk drop sites were added earlier this year in Red Deer and Grande Prairie, bringing the total number of milk drop locations to 11.
For more information about the milk bank and how to become a donor, visit the milk bank’s website at www.northernstarmilkbank.ca. For more information about Edmonton’s Milk Drop hours, please call 780-735-4839.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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For media inquiries, contact:
Executive Director, NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank