BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Women on motorcycles are delivering donated breast milk at stops across New York.
They are the Sirens Women Motorcycle Club of New York City and they are leading the Milk Caravan, starting in Valhalla at the New York Milk Bank and ending in Lancaster—just outside of Buffalo.
Along the way, they will stop at Jillian’s Drawers in Ithaca and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton.
The milk is donated by nursing mothers who express milk and freeze it. It is pasteurized, and then used in hospitals for premature babies whose mothers are not yet producing milk, for babies who are adopted, or any baby who is otherwise vulnerable.
“Because of its properties and it’s immune protection, [the milk] can help those babies have less complications while they’re in the [neonatal intensive care unit],” said Laura Walker, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Walker said the babies could also have a quicker discharge from the hospital. It helps the development of their brains and nervous system.
Lourdes collects milk from carefully screened women. Mothers, like Sabrina Laine.
Laine has three kids. She said after feeding her son, the overstock of milk was starting to pile up.
“Freezers were starting to get full of milk in my house,” Laine said.
That’s when she found the New York Milk Bank online.
To become a donor, Laine had to go through an application process that included a health questionnaire and a blood test, but with a note from the child’s pediatrician too.
She said it was worth it once she learned how her donation would be used. She was told her first donation made 100 bottles.
The New York Milk Bank collects milk from other states and distributes it nationwide.
So you might hear the Milk Caravan roaring through your town.