October 18, 2017 (Jamaica, NY) -Pediatricians and child development experts have long agreed that breast milk is the optimal source of nutrition for babies. It contains the perfect combination of vitamins and nutrients needed to promote healthy development and growth. Most importantly, breast milk contains antibodies that help infants to fight off various types of diseases and bacteria.
Clearly, breastfeeding provides babies with many health benefits; it is for this reason that Jamaica Hospital Medical Center places a high priority on providing mothers with the best resources needed to breastfeed successfully. The hospital which recently earned the prestigious Baby Friendly status has established several successful initiatives to support moms and newborns. As part of its effort to continuously provide much needed services to the community it serves, Jamaica Hospital is proud to announce that it is the first organization in Queens to open a milk depot. The hospital will host an official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on October 24th to celebrate this achievement.
Milk depots are essential to communities because they serve as a safe location where women who choose to donate their excess breast milk can make a deposit. The breast milk is then sent to milk banks where it is tested and pasteurized then dispensed to help mothers who cannot produce enough milk to nourish their premature babies or infants with weakened immune systems. For babies who are born premature, breast milk not only serves as nutrition but also as medicine. It helps to reduce the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening disease that can damage or destroy the intestinal tracts of preemies.
To ensure that health and safety guidelines are followed, Jamaica Hospital has collaborated with the New York Milk Bank to facilitate a thorough screening process for donors as well as testing and pasteurization of donated milk.
ÛÏBy opening a milk depot and working with the New York Milk Bank, we are doing our part to supply babies in need with milk that can be potentially life-saving, ÛÏsaid Paula Utilla; Lactation Consultant ÛÏFor our staff, our milk depot is more than just a collection point, it represents a tool that we can use to empower donors because they will know they are giving a unique gift and to also empower mothers who will now be able to give their babies the nourishment they need to thrive.Û
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center serves a population greater than 1.2 million in Queens and Eastern Brooklyn. This 408-bed medical center is an accredited community teaching hospital with a large network of community-based ambulatory care centers. JHMC offers an array of acute inpatient, rehabilitation and mental health services, and is one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in New York City. The hospital provides general medical, pediatric and Ob/Gyn services. Jamaica Hospital Medical CenterÛªs mission is to serve patients and the community in a way that is second to none. For additional information, please contact Public Affairs at 718-206-6020.