Nursing mothers earn money and own stock with innovative new cooperative

The Mother’s Milk Cooperative has launched as the only paid milk donor program in the United States.

An innovative approach to milk banking becomes a reality as the Mother’s Milk Cooperative (MMC) launches the only paid milk donor program in the United States. Dubbed, “Milk Money,” this program will offer nursing mothers the opportunity to earn money from home while breastfeeding.

The MMC is a grass-roots organization dedicated to improving access to donor breast milk and empowering nursing mothers. The co-op is dedicated to making donor milk more accessible than ever before and strives to resolve the critical shortage of donor milk that is impacting the lives of premature and sick infants globally. This shortage has resulted from the increased use of donor human milk for preterm babies driven by a growing body of medical evidence. Breast milk is important for every baby but it can mean the difference between life and death for premature infants.

All milk donors will undergo stringent qualification steps including physician recommendations, blood screening and milk quality and safety testing before the milk is professionally processed.

Mothers Milk Co-op began accepting donor applications on Mother’s Day 2013 through www.mothersmilk.coop.

Too many women have no other choice but to return to work early after the birth of their babies. Milk Money hopes to help mothers cover such expenses as diapers, a date night or a college fund for their baby.

Cooperatives are unique because they are 100 percent owned and controlled by their voting members. As voting members of the Mother’s Milk Co-op, qualified breast milk donors own stock in the co-op making it the first milk bank owned and democratically controlled by nursing mothers.

Michigan State University Extension’s breastfeeding initiative has collaborated with the Mother’s Milk Co-op through the Michigan State University Product Center.

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