PPF Announces Grand Opening of Human Milk Depot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Chanise Davis, 610-553-5479

Pettaway Pursuit Foundation (PPF) announces the grand opening of a human milk depot, in partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. The opening event will take place on Friday, August 2nd at 11:00 am as part of the Global Big Latch On event PPF will be hosting at their Lansdowne Headquarters, 11 Owen Ave., Lansdowne, PA 19050. The depot will be new addition to its PPF Lactation Station which currently offers a free monthly Breastfeeding Support Group and in-house Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs). Families, prospective milk donors, healthcare providers, and community members are welcome to attend the family-friendly celebration, which will include a ribbon-cutting, refreshments, and information on how nursing mothers can donate milk. 

A milk depot is a community location where screened milk donors can drop off milk for shipment to a milk bank. The milk bank collects milk from mothers who have more milk than their babies need; screens, pasteurizes, and tests the milk; then dispenses it primarily to premature and sick babies whose mothers do not have enough milk for them. Mothers from the Delaware County area will now be able to drop off their milk conveniently at the depot for shipment to the milk bank. 

With the opening of this location, Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast will now have 27 depots in eight states throughout the Northeast, including two in Pennsylvania. The other Pennsylvania depot is at Acelleron Medical Products in Bensalem. “The presence of a milk depot signifies a deep commitment to the health and well-being of the most vulnerable members of the community—the fragile babies whose lives depend on safe, pasteurized donor milk,” commented Ann Marie Lindquist, Director of Community Relations for Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. “We are delighted to partner with Pettaway Pursuit Foundation to serve the community in this way.” 

Leah Conte is one of over 6,000 mothers who have been screened by Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. She commented on her milk donation experience, "Having a premature child is a life-altering event, one that often I felt little control over. Being able to pump and share my breastmilk gave me a feeling of empowerment and purpose. I feel so privileged that I am able to share this life-giving source with other families.” 

Milk donor screening, modeled after blood donor screening, includes health history, physician approval, and a blood test. These are some of the many measures taken to ensure the safety of milk for the fragile premature and sick babies served by the milk bank and the hospitals that use the milk. Milk from mothers who pass the screening is also pasteurized and tested by an independent lab to ensure safety before being dispensed to hospitals or families. 

Human milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants. It is especially protective against a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which affects one in ten of the smallest preterm infants. Human breast milk is estimated to lower the risk of this condition by 79%. It also lowers hospital costs by reducing costs for care and shortening hospital stays. 

Donor milk is rapidly becoming the standard supplement to mothers' milk for preterm infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). In addition, an increasing number of community hospitals with regular and special care nurseries use donor milk when babies need a supplement to their mothers’ own milk. 

Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast is a nonprofit community milk bank accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). The milk bank has been screening donors, pasteurizing milk, and dispensing to over 90 hospitals and to families throughout the Northeastern United States since 2011. 

As a mother who experience premature birth three times in her life, Theresa Pettaway founded Pettaway Pursuit Foundation in 1999; compelled to provide maternal health education and support to all women. From evidencebased workshops to in-home perinatal support, it is Pettaway Pursuit Foundation's mission to improve pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and NICU experiences along with achieving healthier newborn outcomes and empowering new mothers with resources and education on proper infant care. This mission is fulfilled via two essential programs, the Doula By My Side Program (DBMS) and the PAL For Parents Program (P4P). DBMS allows for mothers to experience a doula-supported pregnancy from both well-experienced and certified professionals at the expense of their healthcare provider. P4P offers essential classes and workshops to parents in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties that include, but are not limited to, Breastfeeding Support, Newborn Care Education, Childbirth Education, Life Skills and more. With two decades of service to mothers and their families, expansions to Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and a new headquarters located in the central business district of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, PPF hopes to continue its outreach efforts in bettering maternal health both locally and nationwide. For more information, please call 610-553-5479 or visit their website at www.pettawaypursuitfoundation.org. 

Mothers who wish to donate milk can review guidelines on the milk bank website, www.milkbankne.org/donate, then contact a Donor Intake Coordinator for screening at 617-527-6263 x3 or donate@milkbankne.org. Approved donors can then drop off milk at the new depot by calling 610-553-5479 and scheduling an appointment.