Alabama's first breast milk bank to open soon in Birmingham - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Alabama's first breast milk bank to open soon in Birmingham

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Source: Mothers' Milk Bank of Alabama/WBRC video Source: Mothers' Milk Bank of Alabama/WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The Mothers' Milk Bank Of Alabama, the state's first non-profit milk depot, is open in Birmingham.

The goal is to collect milk donations from mothers and give it to babies being treated in a NICU.

Mary Kelly, executive director for the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, is spearheading the effort.

"The priority is to serve hospital NICUs to serve preterm infants," explained Mary Kelly.

Kelley has a personal connection to the cause after losing her second child when she was 12 days old. Kelley eventually had a third child who was also born with a serious disease.

"Fortunately he survived but he spent eight months in the NICU," added Kelley.

During that time she learned about the demand for human milk.

"A lot of doctors, a lot of lactation consultants, and nurses who continue to say, 'Yes! We have this huge need here. There are so many infants who need this breast milk,'" explained Kelley.

She reached out to members of the Community Food Bank Board and garnered the support she needed to bring a local milk bank to Birmingham. For now Mothers' Milk Bank of Alabama will only serve as a collection site for a milk bank in Texas.

"We serve in a mentoring capacity with North Texas for two years," Kelley said

The site will eventually transition into a local bank to serve babies in Birmingham hospitals, but first they must secure enough funding, buy the required equipment to sterilize the milk and build a donor base.

If the local bank is a success, then it could help babies outside of Birmingham as well.

"It can be opened up to families who are at home who have children who have special GI needs. And then possibly maybe even adoptive parents who want to provide breast milk to their children," added Kelley.

Mothers who have an interest in donating can begin the donor screening process. To do that, call the North Texas Milk Bank toll free at 1-866-810-0071 and visit http://www.texasmilkbank.org/content/milk-donations for more information.

Keep up with the Mothers' Milk Bank of Alabama by visiting their Facebook page.

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