Long Island opens first breast milk depot for moms

NEW HYDE PARK, Long Island (WABC) -- Doctors have long touted the benefits of breast milk, but not every mom can produce it.

Now for the first time, Long Island has its first breast milk depot, so moms can ultimately get safely pasteurized donated human milk.

Christina Mouroulis has been given a unique gift.

She's able to produce so much breast milk, "I have filled up my freezer", she said.

Now she'll have somewhere to donate it - to Dr. Lauren Macaluso, a breastfeeding specialist.

She's heading up Long Island's first breast milk depot at her office in New Hyde Park.

"It's amazing to see that sense when women have more milk than they need for their own infant they are totally thrilled and excited to help out another mother and baby in need," said Dr. Macaluso.

"I'm so fortunate that I can feed my own son, because I have extra it's the best gift I can give to other babies who need it," said Mouroulis.

The depot will be one of many throughout the state operated under the New York Milk Bank, which is set to open in Westchester in April.

It will be New York's first milk bank licensed by the state Department of Health.

"Donors right now the milk is going out of state, it's going to other hospitals and going to other facilities," said Julie Bouchet-Horwitz of the New York Milk Bank. "New York needs to take care of its own. We want donors in New York to donate to New York babies and keep it here."

In order to donate her milk to a depot a mother must first go through a thorough screening process including a series of blood tests. Even then the milk is tested at the milk bank in Westchester

"People are going to want this, they're going to ask for this, mothers want to maximize their and their infants health," said Dr. Macaluso.

In order to obtain donated breast milk a mother would need a prescription from a doctor.

To find out more about the New York Milk Bank or to become a donor or recipient of donor breast milk, visit http://www.nymilkbank.org/.

You can also call 914-487-4812.
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