Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Breast milk depot provides new option for mothers

TAMPA — Got milk?

The Green Mommy store in Tampa does.

The store recently opened a Breast Milk Depot, where it will store screened and tested donor human milk to help premature babies in need.

The Green Mommy donations, which go into a special freezer, will ship to the Mother's Milk Bank of Florida, which will test, pasteurize and distribute the milk to neonatal intensive care units statewide.

Mothers of premature infants often have difficulty producing milk for about seven to 10 days, said Linda Califf, the milk bank's executive director.

Ten to 17 percent of infants born premature contract necrotizing enterocolitis, an intestinal illness, due to formula use. The illness leads to death or lifelong complications. Human milk reduces the instances of necrotizing enterocolitis, fighting infection and providing nutrition.

Only 21 milk banks exist in the United States. All operate under the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Mother's Milk Bank of Florida opened in Orlando in June 2015.

Founded by a board of directors, the milk bank has approved 380 donors and supplied 252,000 ounces of milk.

"Every now and then I get a shocked response from people after I tell them about our milk bank," said Califf. "I hear things like 'Where do you get the milk?' 'Is that safe for the babies?' or just plain 'Ew.' "

"However, most of the time I hear 'That's amazing, why did we not have a milk bank sooner?' "

Some donors had neonatal intensive care unit babies themselves. Others simply produce an oversupply.

Many come from the Tampa Bay area, so Green Mommy owner Shannon Green offered her store as a depot.

Green, a certified lactation consultant, hosts weekly breastfeeding groups at the store. When Robin Watson, a fellow lactation counselor and owner of Tampa Bay Breastfeeding, suggested Green Mommy become a drop-off site, Green held a fundraiser to buy the needed $1,500 freezer.

The site opened Oct. 28.

"I think its important for moms to know there is a place they can donate their milk to," Green said. "So many have extra and just don't know what to do with it."

To donate, mothers must first contact Mother's Milk Bank of Florida for a screening, which includes a blood test and medical clearance from an obstetrician and pediatrician. Once approved, a donor number is given. They can then utilize the depot site.

For more information, visit or call 407-248-5050. The Green Mommy is at 8802 Rocky Creek Drive, Suite 108, Tampa. Visit

Breast milk depot provides new option for mothers 11/08/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 5:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mulberry teens, 15 and 18, killed in Plant City when car runs red light, FHP says


    Two Mulberry teens are dead and another is critically injured after their car collided with another vehicle in a Plant City intersection Thursday afternoon.

  2. GOP Montana win may be blip in Democrats' anti-Trump hopes


    BOZEMAN, Mont. — A Montana Republican businessman won the state's U.S. House seat after being charged with assaulting a reporter on the eve of the election, a victory that may temper Democrats' hopes for a massive anti-Trump wave next year.

    Republican Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters after being declared the winner at a election night party for Montana's special House election against Democrat Rob Quist at the Hilton Garden Inn on Thursday in Bozeman, Montana.
  3. More than half of Senate signs onto bill to end Cuba travel restrictions


    WASHINGTON - Fifty-five members of the Senate, including Bill Nelson, have endorsed legislation to fully lift restrictions on travel to Cuba.

  4. Militants attack Christians in Egypt, killing at least 28


    CAIRO — Masked militants riding in three SUVs opened fire Friday on a bus packed with Coptic Christians, including children, south of the Egyptian capital, killing at least 28 people and wounding 22, the Interior Ministry said.

  5. District finals won't count for Pasco County students


    Scores from the district finals Pasco County students took in recent weeks will not count toward their semester grades or grade-point averages, superintendent Kurt Browning said Friday.