Bronson Mothers' Milk Bank

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Bronson Mothers’ Milk Bank

Helping babies thrive and survive with donated breast milk

The healthiest food for a newborn is milk from its mother. But when a mom is unable to provide her own breast milk for her baby, milk from a healthy donor is the next best thing. Since healthy babies are so important to Bronson, we opened the Mothers’ Milk Bank in 2007.

Our milk bank team screens, collects, processes and distributes donated human milk not only to infants in our own Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), but to new moms, hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout the nation. Our milk bank is only one of 25 non-profit milk banks in the US and is accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).

If you have extra breast milk, consider donating to the Bronson Mothers’ Milk Bank. Here’s why:

In the early stages of life, breast milk can provide several benefits for babies including a decreased risk of infection and illnesses. However, it is even more crucial for babies who are born premature or sick. Breast milk is:

  • Easier for sick babies to digest
  • More nutrient dense than formula, allowing for babies to better fight off viruses and bacteria
  • Helps premature babies grow and develop properly

Learn how you can donate.

History of Milk Banking

Modern-day milk banking started with wet nursing, which is when a woman nurses a child that is not her own. Wet nursing dates back to at least 2000 B.C. and is described in many ancient texts. In 1909, human milk banking started in Vienna, Austria. A few years later, in 1919, the first North American milk bank in Boston opened. Milk banks continued until the 1980s when many feared HIV could be transmitted through breast milk. At that point almost every milk bank in the US closed.

Through research, it was discovered that pasteurization assured the safety of breast milk. The year was 1985 when the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) was established. At that time, milk banking became very popular. Today, thousands of infants, many of them fragile, across the US and Canada receive life-saving donor milk each year. 

  • Photo of mother holding her baby.

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Mothers' Milk Bank