Mother’s Milk Bank of SC receiving twice the amount of donor milk than usual

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:33 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) -Morgan Griffin, of North Charleston, started to feel the impacts of the formula shortage in mid-February.

“I went to go get more and I had to go to six different stores,” Griffin said.

Since then, it’s been a constant cycle of checking the Formula Finders Facebook group to see what formula is in stock and where. Sometimes, she has to leave work in the middle of the day to check inventory at stores. Some of those stores are over an hour away. This month, the mom of two said things are finally starting to improve.

“There was a point where I didn’t have any formula, and I was like okay well let me try whatever I can find and maybe that will work,” Griffin said.

Griffin isn’t alone. The Formula Finders Charleston Facebook Group currently has 2,100 members, as of Monday.

The Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina was developed to receive donated breast milk from women who have extra, mostly to give to hospitals who take care of sick and premature infants. But In May, they started offering donor milk to the general population with a prescription from a pediatrician to serve some families who were having trouble finding formula.

“With the formula shortage, we saw a need to try to help out,” said Dr. Alison Chapman, medical director of the Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina.

Medical Director Dr. Alison Chapman says they’ve been able to help some families, but she says there’s been “mixed feelings” because of the expensive price of the milk. The cost comes from pasteurizing and processing the milk, which Chapman says is crucial to making sure the milk is safe for babies.

“We could not offer it for free, but we were able to offer it at a discounted price, however realistically speaking it still is pricey,” Chapman said.

However, Chapman says she thinks people have been recognizing the need. Over the last 3 months, they’ve received 37,000 ounces of breast milk, more than double what they typically receive.

“We have one of the highest premature birth rates in the country and so there’s definitely a need for women to donate any additional or leftover milk that they have,” Chapman said.

Chapman says if the need is still there, they will still have the capability to be able to provide the service of selling the milk on an individual basis. But she says they may need to rethink the cost associated with it, to see if there’s anything they can do to help reduce the cost for families that need it.

If you want to learn more about donating milk, click here.

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