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Indiana Mother's Milk Bank Hosts First Annual Cutest Baby Contest at the Indiana State Fair

Promoting Breastfeeding and Education Thoughout Indiana

August 01, 2010
The Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank (IMMB), one of only 10 nonprofit organizations of its kind in the country, has a lot to celebrate. In addition to reaching the five-year milestone in sharing the gift of mothers' milk here in Indiana and throughout the Midwest this month, it recently moved into a much larger office at 4755 Kingsway Drive, Suite 120, in Indianapolis.

IMMB collects human milk donations from screened donors, then pasteurizes, analyzes, and distributes to neonatal intensive care units throughout Indiana and the Midwest. IMMB follows the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) in order to ensure safe and proper handling of human milk. To date, IMMB has distributed over 200,000 ounces of pasteurized donor human milk for premature or ill infants in need.

This year, IMMB is also celebrating five years of providing Lactation Stations at fairs, community events, and expos throughout Indiana. Debuted in 2006 at the Indiana State Fair, the Lactation Station's goal is to provide a comfortable, clean place for breastfeeding women to relax and gather information about a variety of women and infant Health issues. Starting with one station in 2006, IMMB now operates three stations throughout the fairgrounds and partners with organizations such as March of Dimes (MOD), Medela, Indiana WIC, Bebe Paluzza – Indy Baby Expo, Ameda, and St. Vincent Health to provide a wealth of information and support.

IMMB and partnering organizations support Indiana law, which allows a woman to breastfeed her child anywhere the law allows her to be, whether she is in public or private. During the hot August weather, the Lactation Station provides rocking chairs, generously donated by Cracker Barrel, cold water, and fans to give breastfeeding moms a chance to relax and nurse in comfort. The Lactation Stations will be open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm during the fair's 17-day run from Friday, August 6, to Sunday, August 22. Volunteers from all over Indiana come to help staff the locations, making sure moms and families are comfortable and help promote breastfeeding and milk banking.

"IMMB provides a vital service to the community throughout Indiana and the Midwest. IMMB's work not only supports the efforts to promote breastfeeding throughout the state, but also enhances them with projects like the Lactation Station at the Indiana State Fair," said Tina Cardarelli, Indiana State Breastfeeding Coordinator.

This year, IMMB and March of Dimes are partnering to bring the first annual Cutest Baby Contest to the Lactation Station at the Indiana State Fair. IMMB and MOD will be accepting applications during all 17 days of the fair, with an entry fee of $20 and limit of the first 200 applicants. The final application deadline is Wednesday, August 25, 2010. Beginning in September, the babies' pictures will be posted online and each family will gather donations from friends and family members. The baby with the most donations will be the Grand Prize Winner! All donations will help IMMB and MOD improve the health of Indiana's infants and children.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a photo shoot by Pritchett Photography (tpritchettphotography.com), a spread in Indy's Child magazine and a great prize pack! More details will be provided at the Lactation Station during the fair. For more information, please contact CutestBabyContest@immb.org.

IMMB is excited for the 2010 Indiana State Fair Lactation Station and hopes to provide this vital service to over 1,500 moms and families. Come visit one of our locations to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, human milk banking, or a range of women and infant health issues. The location of each Lactation Station is detailed on the map of the Indiana State Fair program. If you would like to volunteer, please contact IMMB at StateFairVolunteer@immb.org.

"We attribute our growth and success to the generous donations made by our donor mothers and families," said Dane Nutty, Program Manager of IMMB. "Without them, we would not be able to provide these services to Indiana and beyond."

To become a human milk donor, contact IMMB at milkdonor@immb.org or call 317-536-1670. For more information, email info@immb.org or visit immilkbank.org.

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Tags: Health, Infant & Baby, Local, Maternity, Parenting, Toddler

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