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Aurora Hospital uses donated breast milk for babies in need

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) Aurora is using breast milk as a form of medicine for newborns but the milk doesn't always come from the baby's mother.

Doctors say breast milk is the best form of medicine for babies born prematurely.

Michelle Bahler hadn't developed milk yet when her daughter was born at 29 weeks. She was faced with the tough decision of giving their baby formula or donated breast milk.

The milk used at Aurora is through a partnership with Western Great Lakes who tests and delivers the donated breast milk.

"Obviously it's a little odd to put someone else's food into your child but it seemed like the benefits that were explained to us outweighed our concerns," said Michelle Bahler, a mother.

"Human breast milk has live antibodies, it has live immune cells, it has certain factors inside that help prep the gi tract for these babies. Often we talk about milk as the first food, not because it's food, but because it's helped to prime that gut," said Stephanie Slock, Pediatric and Lactation Specialist at Aurora Health Care.

Women can also donate their unused breast milk to Aurora's Woman's Pavilion.

From there, the milk is sent off for testing before it is used. 

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