Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is looking for mothers to help replenish the state’s
breast milk supply for premature babies. About 13% of babies born in Louisiana are premature. Breast
milk offers specific nutrients that protect them from infections that could prove fatal, and it helps with
their growth and development.
“Many studies have shown the importance of breast milk diets for babies,” said Dr. Maria Dominguez,
Pediatric Neonatologist at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – St. Mary Medical Center. “Breastfed babies
have a decreased risk of respiratory infections. They have fewer ear infections and fewer
gastrointestinal infections. They also have a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).”
Studies have also shown that premature babies who are breastfed have better brain development.
If you are interested in becoming a breast-milk donor, mothers should make sure they are currently
producing enough milk for their own child. Interested mothers need to call 504-703-6455 for a brief
interview. Following the interview, prospective donors will receive a packet in the mail to fill out and
submit. Prospective donors are also required to undergo a free blood screening. Once approved, the
donor will receive instructions on how to donate.
Last March, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport – St. Mary Medical Center became a Milk Depot to make it
easier for donors. The milk is transferred to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana at Ochsner Baptist in
New Orleans. The milk is tested and pasteurized before it is sent to hospitals across Louisiana for
Since opening in 2018, the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana at Ochsner Baptist has dispensed nearly
1,500 gallons of human milk across the state for babies in need. The Milk Depot at Ochsner LSU Health
Shreveport – St. Mary Medical Center has collected approximately 12,000 ounces of breast milk since
the depot opened last year.