Those who want the milk or are interested in donating should register with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast

GLASTONBURY, Conn. — New moms who need help feeding their babies will have another option starting this weekend. Connecticut’s first-ever outpatient breast milk dispensary will open in Glastonbury.

For years, donated breastmilk has been available to newborns and NICU babies in hospital, but never before has breastmilk been available to new mothers outside of a clinical setting. until now.

“This has been in the works for about two years now,” said Susan Parker, an APRN at Doctors ProSanté at Glastonbury.

The opening of the dispensary comes at a time when a nationwide shortage of infant formula has left store shelves empty. Some might call the real stuff “liquid gold.”

“It sends the message to the community that neighbors help neighbors,” said Ann Marie Lindquist of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.

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But at $4.20 an ounce, breastmilk from Glastonbury’s ProHealth Pediatrics dispensary is not intended as a long-term replacement for formula or breastfeeding, but rather a bridge.

“A mother is in this vulnerable period a few days after giving birth and her milk hasn’t quite arrived. She just needs a little extra. A few bottles of milk to get by,” Lindquist explained.

Moms who want milk and those who want to be donors must start by registering with Northeast Breast Milk Bank out of Massachusetts.

“They bring the milk here. We collect it and then ship it weekly to the bank,” Parker said.

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Once it arrives it is thawed, tested, pasteurised, refrozen and sent back to Glastonbury for distribution.

“It’s just a safe opportunity because we know breast milk is the best,” Parker added.

A donor can be anyone from a mother who produces more than her own baby needs to a mother whose newborn has died.

“It’s a way of dealing with their grief and trying to help another baby when their baby couldn’t be helped,” Lindquist said.

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Breast milk can also be obtained through some community sharing programs, but this is an unregulated and untested market.

“The person supplying the milk in this situation might be tempted to add water or cow’s milk or use someone else’s milk and that’s never a problem with a milk bank. milk nonprofit,” Lindquist explained.

As for the cost, most insurance companies do not cover it. But Connecticut passed a law in 2019 that allowed Husky to cover the cost of donated breast milk, but that law has yet to be implemented by the state Department of Human Services.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

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