9-1-2012 Got Milk? GetPUMPed & Share It...........Breast milk and neonatal necrotising enterocolitis
Got Milk? GetPUMPed & Share It...........Breast milk and neonatal necrotising enterocolitis
Got Milk? GetPUMPed & Share It
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) --It’s full of antibodies, fights infection and can mean the difference between life and death. These are just a few reasons why many call breast milk “liquid gold” for premature babies. But in the US, milk banks are facing an unprecedented milk shortage, forcing them and hospitals to turn away sick babies in need. We’ll introduce you to one woman who’s helping moms who can’t nurse get safe, affordable milk— one baby at a time.
It’s not what you’d expect to see inside any mom’s freezer.
“It can stay in a deep freeze situation for up to a year,” Amanda Pacheco, Creator of Get PUMPed told Ivanhoe.
Bags… and bags… and bags…of “liquid gold”….
“We’re full. As I mentioned, we have a lot of milk," Pacheco added.
Milk is Mandy Pacheco’s mission - her non-profit Get PUMPed provides donor breast milk to babies whose moms can’t nurse-- due to illness, chemo, or adoption. Moms like Ginger Elmore.
Ginger reached out to Mandy last year, in a last ditch effort to save her adopted son, Jacob.
“He was just sickly. Very sick he couldn't tolerate any formulas. He had projectile vomiting, as soon as the formula would hit his stomach it would shoot literally across the room,” Ginger Elmore, a mother who received donated breast milk told Ivanhoe.
“Formula can actually be extremely detrimental to a preemie baby, it can cause them to die," Pacheco explained.
Because of its nutrients and antibodies, breast milk is often the best medicine for preemies. But access to screened milk is limited. In the U.S, there are only 10 milk banks. Since 2010, orders from hospitals have jumped 60 percent! As a result the Human Milk Banking Association of North America has made an urgent push for donations. Right now it sends out about 2 million ounces of milk but more than eight million ounces are needed. The shortage is just one problem for families. Rarely covered by insurance, banked milk can cost up to five bucks an ounce.
“A family could be looking at up to about $5,000 a month in just milk," Pacheco added.
GetPUMPED asks for 20 cents an ounce. The money covers the cost of screening volunteer milk donors.
“Once they pass the lifestyle questionnaire, then we accept their blood work. And so we do screen for the exact same things that the milk banks screen for," Pacheco added.
University of Florida neonatologist, Dr. Sandra Sullivan warns against buying milk from sites like Craigslist. Everything from HIV to hepatitis could be passed on through milk.
“It is not a good idea to buy milk but if you know someone a family member or a friend who is willing to do the screening," Dr. Sullivan told Ivanhoe.
For Ginger the risk was worth it.
“I would say do it. It’s worth it. It saved his life," Ginger concluded
A lifesaving mission, that’s as good… as gold.
Since 2009 Get PUMPed volunteers have provided more than 25,000 ounces of screened milk to mothers across the state of Florida. The non-profit also has a scholarship program just in case a family can't afford it. If you’re a mom who would like to donate or apply for milk, at get pumped or other milk banks visit www.getpumpedonline.org