The Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa uses the diffusion of innovation model to reach infants who are hospitalized and living at home. The Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa, born during World Breast Feeding Week in August, 2002, was co-founded by Jean Drulis and Ekhard Ziegler, MD in the UI Division of Pediatric Nutrition, Carver College of Medicine from funds that were generated from grants, foundations and gifts. In March, 2006, the milk bank program directed by Jean Drulis, joined the UI Department of Food and Nutrition Services.

Pooled donor human milk was 1st pasteurized in December, 2002. Feeding donor human milk in the UI Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) began in May, 2003. In 2006, donor human milk treatment stretched to the Mother/Baby Unit and later moved into all areas where infants are hospitalized. Donor human milk supplementation is a standard of care at UIHC.

It is becoming better known that other hospitals and infants living at home are also eligible. In 2009, the ounces of donor human milk fed in the hospital and at home was nearly equivalent; however, the number of infants reached in the hospital was significantly greater.

Milk collection depots are on the rise across Iowa. They enhance donor participation and donation (see Support Options and Sponsors Section).

Many UI insurance policies cover donor human milk dispensed to infants at home for up to 3 months.

Video

Mothers Milk Bank You Tube PhotoView a recent YouTube interview with Jean Drulis describing our services.

Purpose

 The purpose of the Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa is to provide donor human milk to premature and term infants. Indications for its use are:

  • Hospitalized premature infants
  • Infants born with immunological defects
  • Insufficient milk supply
  • Adopted infants
  • Mother illness requiring brief cessation of breast feeding

Goals

  • Iowa become the 1st state where every premature infant is fed human milk.
  • Iowa become the 1st state where every premature infant is fed human milk.
  • Donor human milk supplementation is a standard of care at more hospitals.
  • More hospitals have an inventory of donor human milk.
  • More insurance companies and Medicaid reimburse for donor human milk.