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Local donor milk program can support infants in NICU

(Photo: MGN)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- A new partnership at Virginia Baptist Hospital will help babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Nurses at the hospital give the babies fortified breast milk instead of formula. They say this decreases the number of days the baby is on IV fluids and it helps cut their risk for infection.

Virginia Baptist partnered with Prolacta Bioscience so that mothers with extra breast milk can donate to help feed the babies in the local NICU.

Prolacta will do testing on donor moms and the milk to make sure it's safe for the babies.

"We have lots of moms who call and say I have all this extra milk, can you all take it. What do I do with it. So it gives us a place to send them that directly comes back and benefits our babies here in the community," said Maureen Puckett of Virginia Baptist Hospital.

Puckett said there are some restrictions to the program. Donors would have to get clearance from their own doctors as well as their child's pediatrician.

Generally, they said they like to wait for the donor's child to grow older so that they are able to ensure that their own child is getting the nourishment he or she needs.

Learn more about the donor milk program here.

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