From choosing a safe car seat to breastfeeding, new parents want to make sure their baby is as safe and healthy as possible, but not every new mom is able to breastfeed. That's why Avera McKennan has a new service that will hopefully help infants.
Angie Maag's baby girl is now two years old.
"She's running around and a healthy, little two-year-old," Maag said.
While not every moment has been "picture-perfect," she's tried her best to get her five kids off to a healthy start. That included breast feeding.
"I just know breastfeeding is the best for babies. The mother's milk is the best medicine for any baby," Maag said.
But not every woman is able to breastfeed. That's why Maag decided to donate her extra breast milk.
"I know how important it is for every baby to have the opportunity to have mother's milk," Maag said.
Maag had to package the breast milk herself and send it to a location in Denver.
"It was kind of a process to have to do that," Maag said.
But now women can drop off donated breast milk at Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls. The hospital recently became a milk depot.
"They do need to be screened. This is a very safe process. Probably the closest thing people could relate it to would be like when you donate blood," Avera McKennan International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Lynn Josten said.
After Avera collects the milk, they send it to the University of Iowa to be pasteurized, tested, and pooled together. Some of the milk then comes back to Sioux Falls to benefit local mothers.
"This time of year we really see the benefits because of passive immunity that the woman's adult immune system is passing along through her breast milk to her baby, so with colds and flu and RSV and those kinds of things, we can't say those babies won't get sick, but we hope that buffer of passive immunity from breast milk is going to help them not get quite as sick," Josten said.
Hopefully this new milk depot will encourage local moms to help out other families.
"It would make the process a lot easier," Maag said.
If you’re interested in donating, call Avera McKennan at 1-877-AT-AVERA