Press Releases

Montefiore Nyack Hospital Partners with the New York Milk Bank Program in Providing Pasteurized Donor Human Milk to Nourish Vulnerable Infants

February 20, 2019: Montefiore Nyack Hospital now offers Pasteurized Donor Human Milk (PDHM) to the most vulnerable infants in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Montefiore Nyack Hospital recently received its first shipment of PDHM from the New York Milk Bank, a comprehensive nonprofit milk bank that collects milk from carefully screened donors, pasteurizes it and distributes it to hospitals located throughout New York State. Montefiore Nyack Hospital is the only Hospital in Rockland County to receive its PDHM locally from the New York Milk Bank, which operates under the strict guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.    

According to the March of Dimes, one in 10 babies in New York is born prematurely. PDHM has proven to be the safest and most natural way to nourish premature infants when their mother’s milk is insufficient in quantity. PDHM has been linked to shorter stays in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and reduced hospital costs for premature infants.                           

“The use human milk as source of nutrition for very low birth weight and pre-term infants saves lives and decreases morbidity for those at higher risk of infection, said Theresa Fay Conte, MSN, RNC, NE-BC, Director of Nursing and Maternal Child Health at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. 
“Human milk provides an ideal combination of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins, as well as important antibodies, hormones and immune cells, for infants. These components cannot be replicated in any other source of nutrition.”

Premature infants are at a high risk of developing Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), an intestinal disease that can be fatal. NEC often requires surgery to treat and can increase hospitalization by several months, add thousands of dollars to hospital costs, and lead to long-term digestive health issues. Feeding infants exclusively with human milk has been shown to dramatically reduce the risk of NEC, as compared to feeding with formula.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at-risk, low birth weight and preterm infants receive PDHM because of its proven benefits, including:

  • Reduced risk of serious gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections and hospitalizations.
  • Decreased rates of chronic diseases including asthma, diabetes and cancer.     
  • Reduction in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which affects premature infants at a 
higher rate.
  • Reduced rates of obesity, lasting through adulthood.                                            
  • Significant positive effects on brain development and neurodevelopmental outcomes.                                                                     

It is anticipated that New York will need 450,000 ounces of PDHM exclusively for premature infants. The use of PDHM is increasing not only in New York but exponentially across North America. While non-profit milk banks distributed approximately 5.75 million ounces of PDHM in 2017, it is estimated that 9 million ounces will be needed by 2020.

To learn more about the Pasteurized Donor Human Milk (PDHM) Program, visit nymilkbank.org.

About The New York Milk Bank
The New York Milk Bank is dedicated to improving the health and survival of infants in need by providing them with safely pasteurized donor human milk when a mother’s own milk is unavailable or insufficient. The New York Milk Bank opened in 2016 and has dispensed nearly 300,000 ounces of donor milk to 26 hospitals in New York and to babies in the community.