Mothers' Milk Bank Fund
This fund was established in December of 2004 to aid in developing a non-profit human milk bank at Bronson Methodist Hospital. A mother’s own milk is the best food for her baby. When a mother can’t provide breast milk, however, pasteurized milk from healthy donor mothers is the next best thing. Human milk is easier for babies to digest and offers better nutrition than infant formula. Research shows human milk helps sick and premature babies have better outcomes. Premature babies who receive formula feedings have a higher incidence of acquiring Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a serious gastrointestinal disorder that is life-threatening.
Bronson opened the Bronson Mothers’ Milk Bank in 2006, to collect, screen, process, store and distribute donated human milk. All milk that comes into the milk bank is pasteurized to kill any bacteria and viruses. Bronson has achieved 100% human milk feedings for all premature babies in the NICU and also distributes milk to other hospitals in need.
This fund, may provide financial support for the following types of activities: education, purchase of equipment and related supplies needed to process and store mother's milk; reimbursement of costs associated with these activities, e.g., research expenses, mileage allowances, etc.; and other costs as agreed upon by the Bronson Health Foundation management team.
Bronson Mothers’ Milk Bank is the only Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) accredited milk bank in the state of Michigan and one of only 23 in the entire United States.
Learn more about Bronson's Mothers' Milk Bank
Mother's Milk Bank Memorial Tree 2015
On May 7, 2015 the Bronson Health Foundation hosted more than 100 guests to dedicate the Mother's Milk Bank Memorial Tree. Funded by the Bronson Health Foundation, the tree, made with clay and ceramic, is a stunning art piece designed and created by Kalamazoo artist Conrad Kaufman with beautiful glass leaves, created by local artist, Larry Galdes, engraved with the names of 130 babies who have passed away.
The tree trunk is inscribed with the following; “There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world. This memorial tree honors the precious babies who have died and their mothers who donated breast milk to help other babies live.” While these moms grieved their own losses, they selflessly donated their breast milk so that premature and sick babies whose own mothers were unable to provide milk would receive this valuable gift.
The reception allowed families to see the tree in person and honor their baby who passed and the truly generous act of donating their breast milk as they coped with their loss. Terry Morrow, vice president of development & executive director of the Bronson Health Foundation and Cindy Duff, supervisor of the Mother's Milk Bank and Breastfeeding Center, spoke at the event as well as a mother who shared her own personal story of her loss and decision to donate her milk for five months.
Click here for the Channel 3 news story on the dedication.
In 2013, money from this fund helped purchase a new shelving system for the Milk Bank to provide a more efficient environment as the influx and demands for donor milk continue to grow. The fund was also able to pay for lactation consultants and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses to attend a breastfeeding conference