OSF HealthCare Breastfeeding Resource Center opens new milk dispensary in Peoria

2/02/2023 - Peoria, Illinois

  • Mission Partners celebrate the opening of the breast milk dispensary

Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes (Milk Bank WGL), and OSF Saint Francis Healthcare Breastfeeding Resource Center (OSF BRC) have partnered to provide pasteurized human donor milk to families in Peoria. This joint effort increases access to lifesaving, critical nutrition for pediatric patients in need.

As a dispensary, OSF BRC will act as a hub where families can purchase pasteurized donor milk for short-term emergency use. Donor milk is an essential nutritional therapy that provides numerous benefits, including infection-fighting factors, growth hormones, and improved nutrition and digestion. In addition to being a dispensary, OSF BRC is a depot collection site, where approved Milk Bank WGL donors can drop off their milk donations.

“The benefits of human milk for human babies are undeniable,” said Dr. Shelly Shallat, medical director of the newborn nursery at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center. “We are grateful for the opportunity to provide this valuable service to local families.”

The Breastfeeding Resource Center is the area’s only resource center for pregnant and nursing mothers to offer such a variety of services and support programs to make breastfeeding work for moms and families.

Milk donations are collected from healthy, lactating women who are screened and approved as donors through Milk Bank WGL. Upon collection, donations are transported to the milk bank’s processing facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, where the milk is pasteurized to eliminate viruses and bacteria. The pasteurized milk is tested by a third-party lab and distributed to hospitals and outpatients in Illinois and Wisconsin.

"We are delighted to expand our partnership with the OSF Breastfeeding Resource Center from a milk depot to a milk depot and dispensary.  In addition to the support they already provide to local families, giving them local access to purchase safe donor breast milk is such a valuable service,” said Amber Barnes, clinical manager at Milk Bank WGL.

You can find out more about accessing or donating human milk via Milk Bank WGL by visiting their website at milkbankwgl.org.