Face The State: Local Breast Milk Donor Shares Story - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Face The State: Local Breast Milk Donor Shares Story

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You may not have heard of milk banks - they're a lot like blood banks that store donated breast milk for preterm babies who can't handle formula. Half a million babies are born preterm every year in the U.S. And many of them don't have developed enough digestive systems to handle anything but breast milk.
    
But if their mothers can't provide it - that's where milk banks step in.

For Face the State this week, I am featuring a milk bank that provides supplies to our local hospitals and I met a local woman who made the choice to donate.

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"The milk that we donate... We just keep here..."

Amanda Burnham-Marusich and her husband had a healthy baby girl in January. And along with all the other jobs of newborn parents, the two decided they could take it one step further, pumping and donating extra breast milk to help babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.
 
"We both do it, that little bit of extra effort, because we really enjoy paying forward the kindness that we got when our daughter was being really well taken care of in the hospital."
   
When their daughter was just one day old-- a choking scare sent her to the NICU.

Amanda and her husband only had to anxiously wait for a few hours, but that was enough to motivate them to help. "She was this full-term, happy baby, surrounded by all these very small, little babies that were really struggling, you know. Being there in that really emotionally charged setting and feeling so grateful, it really solidified for us that if this was something that we were capable of doing, we really wanted to be able to do it."
   
Amanda pumps extra milk after late-night feedings storing it up until she has enough to ship to the mothers' milk bank.
   
She says it's a gift that feeds her happiness just as much as it feeds the infants. "It makes me really happy when I get to send a shipment off, because I feel like, ‘oh, someone is going to get a full belly and they're going to feel really good,’ and it's going to make their parents feel like their baby is getting the best thing that they can for them.

The Mothers' Milk Bank is in need of donors.    

And to see the full segment on milk donation, tune in for Face the State this weekend. It airs Saturday at 4:30 a-m. And on Sunday at 2:30 and 6:30 a-m. as well as 3:30 p-m.

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