Local woman donates over 38 gallons of breast milk

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT)- Kelli Russell, an ECU Alum and Beaufort County resident, has donated over 38 gallons of breast milk. Not all woman are able to produce breast milk, but officials say all babies need breast milk.

Robin Tant with the Pitt County Health Department said, “it’s the perfect food for the baby because it changes over time.”

Russell donated her excess breast milk to help ensure that all babies get the nutrients they need. She was nursing her second son and had more breast milk than she needed.

“I hated to pour it down the drain, and I knew there was something that could be done with it besides just tossing it out,” Russell said.

Russell donated through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, a non profit organization. Before her milk was distributed she had to go through an extensive process of filling out paperwork, getting health screenings, and proving she had excess milk. Once the milk was shipped to the bank it was screened and then pasteurized.

According to Russell this was her way of giving back to the community.

“This will lead them down that healthier road, and eventually they make in play groups with my son, they may be doing great things in the world, and every little life matters,” Russell said.

The Pitt County Health Department has multiple programs to educate mothers on the importance of breast feeding, something they believe should be the standard. Research shows that babies who receive breast milk tend to get sick less often than babies who were fed with formula.

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