Houston’s Sugar Land Methodist Hospital is now home to Fort Bend County’s only milk donation site

Breastfeeding mothers in Sugar Land can help those who need help feeding their children by donating extra breast milk at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s new milk collection site.

The overview

Launched in December, the Sugar Land milk collection site within the Childbirth Center at 16655 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, aims to meet the growing need for breast milk in neonatal intensive care units across the country, according to a release from Houston Sugar Land Methodist Hospital Press. .

The site is served by Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin, a nonprofit organization that collects, pasteurizes and distributes donor milk to premature and sick infants through prescriptions, according to the release. Donor milk can also benefit families in crisis, including those affected by maternal emergencies or formula shortages.

“We are excited and proud to offer this service to moms and babies in our community,” said Theresa Walters, director of the hospital’s NICU. “We are committed to the health and growth of the smallest members of our community, and this is another effective way to meet their needs.” »

There are also milk collection sites at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital and Houston Methodist Willowbrook, said Amanda Gamez, senior communications specialist at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, in an email.

What they say

Registered nurse Hailey Stanford was the first to donate at the Sugar Land site, bringing 1,740 ounces to the site’s grand opening. Stanford’s second son was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, which left her unable to breastfeed and caused her to produce too much milk, she said in the release.

“I knew I wanted to donate my milk to help other mothers, and I am honored to be our hospital’s first donor,” Stanford said. “I understand how disappointing it can be to want to breastfeed your baby and not be able to, so I wanted to help alleviate some of that stress.”

In numbers

In 2022, Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin had 1,094 donors who produced 868,000 ounces of breast milk for the nonprofit, according to the release.

“Our reputation for providing safe, nutritionally analyzed and labeled breast milk to hospitals and outpatients has led to tremendous growth in demand – a challenge and also a success,” said Kim Updegrove, executive director of Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin. “By partnering with the Houston Methodist Childbirth Center in Sugar Land, we will raise awareness in a critical audience: breastfeeding women who are uniquely qualified to help save the lives of premature and critically ill babies. »

Since opening, the Sugar Land milk collection site has received donations from 20 mothers representing about 16,600 ounces of milk, Gamez said.

How to help

Women who are breastfeeding infants under the age of one can receive free screening to determine if they are eligible to become donors, according to the release.

Mothers who wish to donate breast milk should call 877-813-6455 to schedule a screening.