The Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana is closely monitoring developments related to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Now is a particularly difficult time for both the vulnerable families we serve as well as the health care partners providing them with exceptional care. We remain dedicated to providing lifesaving milk to critically ill infants.
The Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana is accredited by The Human Milk Banking Association of North America that provides strict guidelines informed by both the CDC and FDA to ensure the quality and integrity of every bottle processed. The steps include comprehensive donor screening, validated pasteurization, and independent, third-party microbiological analysis.
While research specific to COVID-19 is still emerging, characteristics of similar viruses such as SARS and MERS inform our work. This newly identified virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, now COVID-19) was named due to the genetic similarities to the SARS coronavirus. Studies have documented complete heat inactivation of genetically similar viruses such as SARS and MERS. All milk dispensed by The Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana undergoes heat treatment using the Holder pasteurization method of 62.5°C for 30 minutes.
Research has consistently demonstrated that human milk provides significant immunological, nutritional, and physiological benefits that protect babies against many illnesses and last well beyond infancy. In times of crisis, it is critical to rely on the most current and accurate information and to mobilize efforts to support public health.
You can help families with infants during this time in the following ways.
- Encourage healthy lactating mothers to donate milk to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana. Hospitals and NICUs serve medically fragile infants 24/7, 365 days a year, even during a crisis. As we anticipate a possible increase in the demand for donor milk, we are continuing efforts to carefully screen new donors.
- Reinforce to prospective donors that The Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana can ship materials and supplies if donor mothers are unable to bring milk to a depot.
- Be familiar with CDC guidelines specifically for breastfeeding and pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19. - Please share this resource with family and friends.
- Minimize infection by practicing social distancing and washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Make a financial donation to The Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana and join our efforts to combat infant mortality and promote public health. Visit our website for more information: ochsner.org/mothersmilkbank.
The Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana has always safely served the most vulnerable among us. We will continue to work with Departments of Health, the CDC, the FDA, and HMBANA as the situation evolves to protect and maintain the availability of pasteurized human donor