MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Martin Fischer, a German American physician once said, "There is no substitute for mother's milk."
The Milk Spot, the valley's only breast milk donation bank is making sure babies who need it most receive a mother's milk, even if it's not from their own mother.
On Wednesday's and Friday's, a group of valley moms make an important delivery and donate their extra breast milk.
"Just started pumping around once a day or so making a stash and made sure that we had enough for this one and then little bits that I had that were extra, I bring and that's what we donate," said a mother.
"I work full time so I am pumping at work twice a day for my daughter and I found that I had a little bit of extra at the end of the week that we weren't using and I was freezing it and eventually that all started to add up," said another mother.
What adds up is placed in special storage bags and frozen at The Milk Spot, and is eventually sanitized and pastuerized.
"The breast milk that we collect here gets processed and it goes to the babies in the hospital in the NICU or the critical care unit to help them heal," said Michelle Hottya, a lactation consultant.
Hottya says donated breast milk serves as medicine for vulnerable babies, providing protection against bacteria and viruses.
"My son spent time in the NICU and he needed supplementation and I wasn't able to breastfeed him fully. With my daughter I had an overabundance so knowing the stress and struggle of not being able to breastfeed your child, I wanted to give this gift to mothers now that I have more than I needed," said a mother.
The Human Milk Making Association of North America has strict criteria set up for each of the milk banks around the United States. The Milk Spot complies with those regulations.
"We refer moms to call the milk bank in Colorado for a screening process. They have a health questionnaire and they submit a blood sample for screening. Then once they are approved their milk and can be shipped off and registered as part of donor milk program," said Hottya.
In the year that it has been open, The Milk Spot has donated countless ounces of breast milk, giving these moms an even greater purpose.
The Milk Spot also has a weekly support group for moms to gather, ask questions and discuss their experiences.