DuPage County – The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is celebrating National Breastfeeding Month with the announcement of its new partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes (Milk Bank WGL). The organizations have collaborated in an effort to promote the health and wellbeing of the youngest and most vulnerable members of the community.
“We are delighted to begin our partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes by becoming a milk depot and accepting donations at our five Public Health Centers,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director of the DuPage County Health Department.
World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, and DCHD will celebrate the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) theme, “Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.” The theme focuses on communities being informed, educated, and empowered to strengthen their capacity to provide and sustain breastfeeding-friendly environments for families in the post-pandemic world. “We encourage those who may have an oversupply of breast milk to donate to the milk depot. Donations will help to ensure food security for families in need,” said Ayala.
Opening milk depots across DuPage County will support the goal of creating breastfeeding-friendly environments and increase access to local donors. “It is an amazing development. Donors will be able to drop off their milk conveniently and quickly,” said Amber Barnes, Registered Nurse and Clinical Manager at Milk Bank WGL. “The health department is a champion.”
Donations are accepted 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, IL, where the milk is pasteurized to eliminate viruses and bacteria. After pasteurization, the milk is tested again for safety and distributed primarily to hospitals.
The depots are located at North Public Health Center in Addison, East Public Health Center in Lombard, West Chicago Public Health Center in West Chicago, Southeast Public Health Center in Westmont, and Central Public Health Center in Wheaton. Approved donors can access the DCHD depot sites Monday through Friday during business hours. Donors should call 630-682-7400 and confirm with each depot prior to dropping off milk donations.