The Provincial Milk Bank, located in BC Women's Hospital, is a repository site for donated milk, where the milk is tested and pasteurized prior to the delivery to Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) across BC. Studies have shown human milk to be the best form of nutrition for babies especially those that are born premature and extremely ill.
BC Women's has partnered with Northern Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health, Vancouver Island Health and Providence Health to expand its service to increase accessibility for donors so they can get to a milk depot locally to drop off their donations. These donations are then shipped to the Provincial Milk Bank to be pasteurized and distributed to our partner NICUs across the province.
Fraser Health has a total of 17 depots around the Lower Mainland and has partnered with us since 2014. Their depots provided the Milk Bank with over 500,000 milliliters of milk last year.
In the past few weeks, we had depots opening in Victoria General Hospital, University Hospital of Northern BC, and just announced today four depots opened in Squamish Community Health Centre, Raven Song Community Health Centre, West Vancouver Community Health Centre and Richmond Public Health. A fifth depot will open at the Evergreen Community Health Centre in the fall of 2016.
"It is wonderful to see all the new milk depots opening up, it will help increase the number of donors to BC Women's Provincial Milk Bank allowing mothers to find a depot nearest to them. More donors means we will be able to help more of BC's most fragile infants,"
says Frances Jones, Coordinator, Lactation Services and BC Women's Provincial Milk Bank.
Donated milk goes through a rigorous screening and pasteurization process, and the BC Women's Provincial Milk Bank is the only milk bank in BC that is regulated and safest for babies. We rely on the generosity of mothers who are able to donate their extra milk and are thankful to be able to help families care for their newborn babies.
Read stories about families who have been touched by mother's milk and how you too can become a donor.