Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital is now a collection site for Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin. The demand for donated breast milk in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) continues to rise, and a new milk collection site in Northwest Houston will give lactating mothers a convenient drop-off location for their donations of much-needed breast milk.­


One of the largest suppliers of donor milk to hospitals across Texas and in 22 states, the Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin (MMBA) fills prescriptions written by physicians for the most fragile babies who need the life-giving and sustaining nutrition of donated breast milk to thrive.


Although any woman can donate her breast milk regardless of where she lives, the new milk collection site at Houston Methodist Willowbrook will make it easier for all Northwest Houston donors to provide this scarce resource that has a life-saving impact. Women who are currently breastfeeding infants under one year of age are eligible to be screened at no charge to become breast milk donors.


“Our reputation for providing safe, nutritionally analyzed, and labeled donor 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 the Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin. “By partnering with Houston Methodist Willowbrook, we will raise awareness with a vital audience: breastfeeding women who are uniquely qualified to help save the lives of premature and critically ill babies.”


Nonprofit milk banks like MMBA ensure donor breast milk is safe and available to the infants who need it most. The pasteurized breast milk dispensed is specially processed to meet the specific needs of fragile and sick babies.


Houston Methodist Willowbrook has nearly 4,000 infant deliveries a year, with an average of 400 babies being treated in the NICU annually. As a level III NICU, the hospital is equipped to take on high-risk pregnancies and create successful outcomes.


“We always hope for smooth deliveries and healthy babies, but Houston Methodist Willowbrook is prepared for when things don’t go as planned,” said the hospital’s NICU manager, Tammy Sullivan, MSN, RN, RNC-NIC. “We have a top-notch medical care team, from physicians to lactation specialists to nurses, who consistently go above and beyond to provide the best care for mother and baby.”


Lactating women in Houston who are interested in donating their breast milk for the benefit of premature, ill and medically fragile infants may call toll-free 1-877-813-6455 to begin the screening process.