LEWISTON – The Donor Milk Depot at Central Maine Medical Center reopened last week, more than two years after it was closed due to COVID-19.

Since March of 2019, CMMC has served as a milk bank where mothers can drop off their extra breast milk for Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast, a nonprofit organization that provides donated breast milk to babies in need.

To cut down on the number of people going in and out of the hospital, CMMC closed the donation site in April 2020. Instead, mothers who wanted to donate could request packaging from Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast and send it to the organization directly.

“(We’re) very excited to get back on track with something that we worked really hard to bring to our community,” said Elaine Law, the nurse leader for the maternity, postpartum and special care nursery units at the hospital.

CMMC processes the donation and sends it to Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast, where it is screened, pasteurized and distributed to families throughout New England, Law said.

The donated milk is given to babies in hospitals, especially those born prematurely or in need of special care, whose mothers’ breast milk has not come in yet. Law said breast milk is the preferred option over formula in special care nurseries because it is gentler on a baby’s stomach. Parents can also order milk from Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast with a prescription.

CMMC’s donation site is in the Special Delivery Family Birthing Center at 60 High St. in Lewiston and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays. To schedule a drop-off, call the Lactation Office at 795-2528.

CMMC can only accept breast milk from prescreened mothers. To learn how to become eligible to donate milk, visit milkbankne.org/donate.

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