Kern medical announced Monday they will be the first hospital in the county to offer NICU and well babies donor breast milk to moms.
Here's what the hospital had to say in a statement:
Kern Medical is pleased to announce the introduction of a new program that provides babies receiving treatment at the hospital access to an exclusive human milk diet. This is a part of Kern Medical's Better Beginnings Program, which gives babies and their parents the tools needed for the safest and healthiest start to life. Kern Medical is currently the only hospital in Kern County offering an exclusive human milk diet in the NICU, with the use of human milk fortifiers from Prolacta Bioscience. Studies show that NICU babies on an exclusive human milk diet tolerate feedings better, grow faster, and go home to their families sooner than NICU babies on cow's milk-derived fortifiers. • What is Human Milk Fortifier? Human milk fortifier is added to mom's milk or donor breast milk to provide more calories, protein and minerals per serving without increasing the volume. Babies born early require more nutrition to grow and often can only tolerate small amounts of milk. For well babies, Kern Medical has collaborated with San Jose Milk Bank to offer pasteurized human donor milk. Parents have the option of providing their babies with donated human breast milk during their stay at the hospital. • Instances where donor milk would be offered: If the mother's milk is not available, if the baby has medical reasons that require more milk, if the mother is taking medications that makes her milk unsafe for the baby, or due to rare medical conditions. • Why choose donor breast milk? Donor milk is the next best feeding choice if mother's own milk is unavailable. Breast milk contains just the right amount of nutrients and is gentle on a baby's developing stomach, intestines and other body systems. Compared with formula, the nutrients in breast milk are better digested and tolerated by babies. At Kern Medical, we support every mother's feeding choice. Our goal is to ensure that mothers have all the resources to make an informed choice on how to feed their baby.