Jefferson City is about to open its first human milk depot — a hub for donations of human milk to be distributed to fragile, sick or premature babies.
We acknowledge our first reaction, perhaps like yours, was that it sounds like an odd concept. OK, weird. Bizarre. Perhaps a bit gross.
But if it has the potential to give fragile babies a much-needed health boost — and we believe it does — then count us as supporters.
The Central Missouri Mother’s Milk Depot is to be operated by the Cole County Health Department, 3400 W. Truman Blvd. The collection site will be affiliated with the Heart of America Mothers’ Milk Bank at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City.
The grand opening event will be at 8 a.m. April 18. Health Department Director Kristi Campbell said it will be one of very few human milk depots in Missouri.
Donors complete health screenings to be approved to donate milk, which mothers then can drop off to the depot. The donations will be sent to the Kansas City hospital, where they will be processed, pasteurized and distributed.
For infants, especially ones with health issues, mother’s milk is far superior to formula. When considering the nutrition/health benefits, there’s really no comparison.
In some cases, mothers can’t provide milk for their children. In other cases, sadly, they might not have survived childbirth or, perhaps, an accident.
It’s times like those when donated milk can offer safe and effective health benefits — even the possibility of saving lives.
For those reasons, we hope the Mid-Missouri community will embrace the Central Missouri Mother’s Milk Depot.