Moms supporting moms by donating milk

We've all heard the health benefits breast milk has for babies.

In Kentucky, health numbers show only 56 percent of babies are breast fed, but now a Lexington business is offering a way moms can help support other moms by donating their extra milk.

Jessica Santangelo is a new mother, facing new challenges.

"Its really one of the best things I've done, it can be challenging. There is a fair amount of mommy guilt that goes on with some things," said Santangelo.

One thing she isn't guilty about, breastfeeding.

"For me it was a natural choice, I knew there were a lot of benefits to breast feeding and I wanted to give those to my daughter."

Not every mother can easily breast feed their babies, Santangelo realized she was producing more than her daughter would ever need.

For months the Richmond mother has been freezing, packing and shipping her extra milk to Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank.

In the last few months she has already donated nearly 500 ounces and has double that on ice.

Now Central Kentucky moms have a new place to donate.

Thursday a milk depot inside Mother Nurture in Lexington opened providing a convenient location for moms.

"A lot of moms call all the time asking what can I do with this extra breast milk I have, its liquid gold I can't bare to waste it," said Mother Nurture Owner, Cherise Bouchard.

Krista Citron was the first to help stock the Milk Depot in Lexington, donating 100 ounces.

The milk donated at Mother Nurture will be taken to Indiana where its tested and then pasteurized and then distributed to places like the Kentucky Children's Hospital to be used in the neonatal units.

For Jessica Santangelo having a healthy baby is all the more reason to help other mothers.

"So if it helps these sick babies who maybe can't have formula for whatever reason that makes me feel good I'm not putting my milk in the garbage I'm giving it to a baby who needs it," said Santangelo.

There are strict screening, processing and dispensing guidelines for the milk donated. Donors must submit to a health screening before donating and the milk is then pasteurized before being sent to hospitals.

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