NORFOLK -- The director of the King's Daughters Milk Bank, Ashlynn Baker, says the local breast milk donors have helped nearly reach their goal for the year in just six weeks.
"We've had 80 donors in 6 weeks and we wanted 100 for the year. We just can't thank you enough," says Baker.
She accepted 340 ounces of milk from mother, Candace Reynolds, curbside this afternoon. She says meeting busy moms outside with a cooler and cart is the least she can do for their donation.
"Oh, wow!" She says, as she opens the cooler full of labeled milk. Reynolds has already been cleared for donation. She's not on any medication that could be bad for babies nor is she sick with any conditions that wouldn't make her a candidate.
Baker is now aiming to get enough milk to serve beyond the NICU, possibly to mothers who can't produce enough and to adoptive parents.
She says, "There's a lot of informal milk sharing going on in our community. We pasteurize. That's what's recommended by FDA"
Right now the breast milk black market carries milk at $5 an ounce and it's not pasteurized.
The first step is to get their current donations for NICU babies possibly covered by insurance companies one day.
"Right now CHKD patients don't get charged for donor milk and insurance companies don't reimburse. We'd like to see that change. It's like medicine for our babies. More than just nutrition and works better than medicines that are covered right now. "