GLASTONBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The state’s first-ever breast milk dispensary is opening in Glastonbury in April.
It will be located at the ProHealth Physicians Glastonbury Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine office on Western Boulevard. The dispensary will allow mothers who cannot provide breast milk or enough breast milk for their child to come here with a prescription and receive donated and tested breast milk.
“One of the reasons could be maternal medical conditions around the time of delivery that may cause her not to be able to produce enough milk for her baby,” said Dr. Joy Hong, ProHealth Physicians Glastonbury Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
The mother could also be on medication she needs but the baby cannot have.
Until now, that donated breast milk was available in hospitals but not available after a mother leaves the hospital. That is why people here in this office say they are so happy to be able to provide this service, which they say is crucial.
“We know that it provides babies some of the mom’s antibodies. It’s been shown to really help in terms of maintaining a healthy weight for infants, optimizing their growth. It helps their neurologic development as well,” Hong said.
APRN Susan Parker has made this dispensary her own personal project. Cheryl Aekins of Waterford has a friend who just had a premature baby and could use this to help bring him home.
“She’s still having a tough time because with him being premature, her body wasn’t really ready to produce that,” Aekins said.
This office has been a breast milk depot for two years now, so they already had the freezer and everything else in place. They would send the milk off to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast in Massachusetts to be processed.
Now, that milk will be sent back here, so it can be dispensed starting April 23.
Mothers will need a prescription to get the breast milk and Hong said it sometimes can be covered by insurance.
As for those who donate their milk, the doctor said they pretty much do it out of the goodness of their heart.
“They’re really superheroes,” Hong said.