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Franciscan Health has Southland’s only human milk depot 

Among the services offered by Franciscan Health Family Birth Center in Olympia Fields is the Chicago Southland’s only human milk depot.

Raquel Lewis, maternity services patient care coordinator, said the milk supply is particularly important for at-risk infants. 

Pasteurized donor human milk is an important nutritional therapy for many at-risk Special Care Nursery babies. It offers numerous benefits in the absence of mother’s milk, including infection-fighting, active growth and development hormones, improved digestion and better nutrition.

“We support breastfeeding as the healthiest nutrition choice for all our newborns, especially in light of the recent baby formula shortage,” said Franciscan Health certified lactation consultant Ann Mitchell. “Being a milk depot site helps us to provide human donor milk for our most fragile newborns.” 


As a result of its support for breastfeeding, the Family Birth Center has earned the prestigious international Baby-Friendly Designation after a rigorous review conducted by Baby-Friendly USA.

Donations to the Franciscan Health Milk Depot are made through its partner, the Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. To become donor, contact the Mother’s Milk Bank at or call 847-262-5134 to begin the screening process.

New moms are invited to join a free Breastfeeding Virtual Support Group on the first Wednesday of every month at 2 pm. To register, call 708-852-2615, or email [email protected].

“We encourage the family birthing experience,” said Lewis. “It’s especially comforting for parents of special care infants to be with their fragile little ones.”

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