Fort Cavazos home to the first human milk depot on a U.S. military installation
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Fort Cavazos held a grand opening Wednesday for its new milk depot, heralded by Army officials as the first and only military human milk collection site in the country.
The depot will collect donations and distribute breast milk to new mothers and their babies on base in the surrounding area.
It will work in conjunction withMother's Milk Bank of Austin, the largest nonprofit human milk bank in the country.
“Healthy lactating women who pass the screening to become milk donors will be able to conveniently drop off their donated milk in their community,” said Milk Bank of Austin CEO Kim Updegrove.
Prior to the depot, milk had to be transported 65 miles from Austin to Killeen.
While it will still be processed at Mother's Milk Bank of Austin, it will be stored across the street from the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center's nursery that provides care to sick and pre-term babies.
"Our NICU averages 150 to 200 annual admissions, with each infant benefitting from the availability of donor breast milk," said Maj. Matthew Nestander, chief of Inpatient Pediatrics and NICU medical director. “The milk is used both in a routine Mother-Baby Unit and more frequently in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”
Those who are interesting in becoming donors can find more information at Milkbank.org or they can call 512-494-0800.