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Ochsner Milk Bank in need of donations amid baby formula shortage

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BATON ROUGE - As the nationwide formula shortage continues, hospitals are feeling the heat as more pressure is being put on their donated supply of breast milk. 

"As we all know, we're having a national formula shortage so that does increase the drive. The more milk we get donated, the more we can get to New Orleans," Jessica Evins, Quality Coordinator of Women's Services at Ochsner Baton Rouge, said.

Ochsner on O'Neal Lane serves as a depot for the statewide milk bank which is located in New Orleans. 

"Our milk is pooled with the rest of the state, but we do utilize it here in Baton Rouge. So, if the milk bank in New Orleans doesn't have enough, that would affect our supply of what we're able to provide here," Evins said.

The donated breast milk is used for babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Ochsner says their supply is low and new donors are hard to come by these days as more mothers are choosing to breastfeed their newborns.

"So far we haven't ran out, but it is an ever-revolving process where donors can only donate for about nine months past the birth of their own baby, so we're always looking for new donors," Evins said.

Potential donors are pre-screened over a phone interview. If organizers determine they are eligible, they go through more testing. The hospital covers the cost of shipping the milk. 

For more information about donating breast milk to the Mothers' Milk Bank of Louisiana, click here.

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