Human milk hub opens in Langley Mill to help newborn babies in hospital

A brand new human milk hub has opened in Langley Mill to help support struggling mothers nourish their newborn babies.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 11:15 am
Representatives from East Midlands Freewheelers, Hearts Milk Bank and The Breastfeeding Network at the opening of the new donor milk hub in Langley Mill this week.

The new ‘Lauren’s Milk Hub’ will provide storage for donor human breast milk that can then be transported to neonatal intensive care units (NICU) at hospitals across the East Midlands.

A joint venture by charities East Midlands Freewheelers and Hearts Milk Bank, it will allow more sick and premature babies in the region to receive safe, screened donor milk.

When babies are born sick or prematurely, receiving their own mother’s milk helps protect them against potentially life-threatening infections and supports their growth and development.

The milk is stored in freezers.

However, sometimes their own mother may be unable to provide enough milk for health reasons or because she is struggling to make enough milk right away.

Other mothers who are breastfeeding and have more milk than their own baby needs can donate it to a milk bank, where it is then specially heat-treated to make sure it is safe for the most vulnerable babies.

It is pasteurised at the Hearts Milk Bank, situated just north of London, before being transported back to the Nottingham milk donor hub.

The hub then freezes the milk and sends it to hospitals across Nottinghamshire where it can be used in neonatal intensive care units to support babies.

The hub will not only be available for local hospitals to use but it will also support local mothers to donate their milk.

Dr Natalie Shenker, co-founder of Hearts Milk Bank, said: “We are very proud to be opening the new hub and to be supporting local hospitals and families.

“Everyone is committed to building a truly equitable service here, where families can donate and access donor human milk, free at the point of need, wherever they live.”

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East Midlands Freewheelers is a volunteer-run charity which provides free transport of blood and blood products, human breast milk and medical equipment to the NHS.

Managing director Neil Tilley said the charity is hoping to expand its milk offering even further in future.

He said: “We are looking forward to helping more families to receive and donate human milk and to grow the hub and its reach in the coming years.

“To do so we need volunteers with all kinds of skills to come forward and get involved.

“From drivers, to admin and people who can help with social media.

“We also rely mostly on bucket donations to raise funds and we are often in Eastwood Morrisons asking for donations from shoppers – so if you see us, please support us.”

If you can give a minimum of one to two days per month to help, the charity is looking for riders, drivers and people to attend fundraising events.

Or if you have administration, training or other skills that you think may be useful to the charity, contact them to discuss further or find more information here.