Aspirus Wausau Hospital and Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital, 2022 Community Benefits

Aspirus Health Breast Milk Program Helps Feed Babies

Chris Bletsoe, Aspirus Care Coordination Navigator
The Aspirus Breast Milk donation program at the Aspirus Wausau Hospital (AWH) and Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital (ASP) depots have collected a total of over 11,000 pounds of donated milk in the program’s nine years. That’s nearly 1,318 gallons of milk.

AWH and ASP serve as depot centers for The Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes, a certified breast milk bank located near Chicago. For convenience to donating mothers throughout the state of Wisconsin, there are 13 drop-off sites located across the Aspirus Health system where mothers can donate their breast milk.

“Women who are breastfeeding may have an overabundance of milk and for a variety of reasons might not use all of their milk,” said Aspirus Care Coordination Navigator Chris Bletsoe, RN. “Under typical circumstances, programs such as ours are a way to capture excess breast milk for sick and premature babies who could benefit from the immunological properties of breast milk. However, the current baby formula shortage has created a higher demand in healthy babies. We’re proud that this program can support those families too and encourage any mothers interested in donating their breast milk to consider doing so.”

Mothers interested in becoming donors are screened for eligibility using a variety of health history and lifestyle questions. Donors are given lab tests to screen for any potential infections. The mother can begin donating milk once she clears the screening process.

Families of healthy babies that need a short-term emergency supply of donor milk due to formula unavailability can find the nearest donor milk dispensary to purchase up to 40 oz of donor milk.