W.G. Watson, M.D., Women's Center, University Health Care Foundation Open Breast Milk Lab

W.G. Watson, M.D., Women's Center, University Health
Care Foundation Open Breast Milk Lab
March 18, 2015

 

 

PRESS RELEASE CONTACT:
Erica C. Cline
March 16, 2015
ericacline@uh.org; 706-828-2225

 

 

W.G. Watson, M.D., Women's Center, University Health
Care Foundation Open Breast Milk Lab

Breast Milk Lab encourages new moms to pump for their premature babies; provide breast milk for babies whose mothers cannot produce

AUGUSTA – University Health Care System administration joined staff, board members, volunteers and physicians March 9 at a ribbon cutting for University Hospital's new Milk Lab. Dignitaries included Dr. Ruth McNeill, who generously donated $50,000 to create a pumping room for the lab area, and the Volunteer Board of University Hospital, which donated $100,000 to the endeavor.

"During our campaign, many grateful patients came forward to help in this project, and among them was Dr. Ruth McNeill who named the moms' pumping room in honor of the care given to her son, Win," said Laurie Ott, vice president of University Human Resources and Community Services and president of University Health Care Foundation. "All these supporters helped buy equipment, refrigerators, bottles, milk warmers, computers to get the barcoding system up and running and the room renovated so moms have a quiet spot for themselves."

Breast milk is the best first food for babies. Multitude of studies have shown that for newborns, breast milk fortifies the immune system, lowers the risk of developing asthma and allergies and lessens the risk of ear infections, respiratory infections and diarrhea. But premature babies often miss out on breast feeding due to their size, which can be detrimental to their health in the long run.

To help combat this issue and protect University's smallest and most-fragile patients, University Health Care Foundation raised nearly $175,000 to create the Breast Milk Lab and pumping room for University Hospital's Special Care Nursery.

While not a repository for donated milk, University's Breast Milk Lab will be used to encourage new moms to pump and store their milk if their baby is in the Special Care Nursery. For those moms who, for whatever reason, cannot produce breast milk, University will purchase donor milk from a nonprofit HMBANA (Human Milk Banking Association of North America) milk bank, which is screened and heat treated before being frozen for shipment.

Please call Erica C. Cline, University Hospital senior communications specialist, at 706-513-7329 if you would like more information about the ribbon cutting.

**Photos Available On Request**

 

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