SMH Milk Depot to Collect Donated Breast Milk for Fragile, Premature Babies

Coconut Telegraph

Sarasota Memorial Hospital has opened a Milk Depot to make it easier for local moms to donate their breast milk to struggling preemies. A mother’s own breast milk is always the best food choice for her newborn, but when a mother’s milk isn’t available, breast milk donated by thoroughly screened donors is the next best option for fragile, sick and premature babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units across the nation.“Donating breast milk is like donating blood – it saves lives,” said Mary O’Connor, manager of Childbirth Education & Lactation Services at Sarasota Memorial. SMH’s Milk Depot was established in association with the Mother’s Milk Bank of Florida in Orlando, which screens mothers using a voluntary process similar to blood donations. The not-for-profit Milk Bank analyzes the milk of approved donors for calorie and protein content and then pasteurizes it to kill any viruses or bacteria. It then tests the milk to ensure it’s free of contaminates before deep freezing and distributing it to hospitalized babies who are in need. There is no cost or compensation to moms to donate the milk. The milk bank sells the milk to hospitals to cover basic costs. Local moms interested in donating their breast milk can start the screening process by calling the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Florida at (407) 248-5050 or visiting Once approved, they can bring their frozen milk to SMH’s Milk Depot, which accepts donations daily (7am-6pm Mon-Fri; 10am- 4pm weekends).


Sarasota Memorial Hospital

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