The mission of the OMMB is to improve the health of Oklahoma babies through safe donor milk. OMMB collects, screens, processes, and distributes donated human milk to meet the specific medical needs of individuals for whom it is prescribed.  The primary beneficiaries of milk banks are infants, particularly preterm or ill infants.  In addition, OMMB values clinical excellence, ethical practice, community education, and research to ensure that all individuals with a medical need will have access to pasteurized donor human milk.

The OMMB operates under the guidelines for Donor Milk Banks from The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).   The administration of OMMB is overseen by the Board of Directors and the Executive Director who reports directly to the Board of Directors.  OMMB maintains a panel of consultants in neonatology/pediatrics, lactation, and microbiology/infectious diseases.  Additional consultants may include representatives from nursing, immunology, pharmacology, nutrition, public health, obstetrics, pathology, food technology, law, consumer representation, and other areas of business and healthcare.  Consultants may hold positions on the Board of Directors.

Neonatologists and other health care providers strongly encourage mothers of premature and ill newborns to provide milk to their newborns. Mothers are taught to express and store their own milk, and this milk is then fed via a tube to the critically ill infant. However, many of these mothers are themselves high risk for health complications, making this goal very challenging, and there are mothers who cannot provide any milk for their babies.

When a child’s own mother is unable to provide milk for her infant, pasteurized and tested donor milk is the only medically accepted way of providing human milk.

OMMB protects and supports breastfeeding and the use of a mother’s own milk and provides the alternative of pasteurized donor milk for medically compromised infants only when a mother’s own milk is not available.

Nothing is more agonizing than being a parent with a critically ill baby and thinking there is nothing you can do to help. Mothers can give a gift to help their sick baby that no one else can give and that is their milk. Many many mothers work very hard to express milk for their own baby and the most heart wrenching cases are when their baby does not survive. Most of these mothers donate their milk to be given to other babies in hopes of saving someone else’s baby. Other mothers have perfectly healthy babies and generously take the time to express extra milk for donating.