ST. LOUIS – One of the only milk labs in the region that has a human milk analyzer to determine the nutritional composition of human milk is at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. The Orthwein Center for Infant and Child Nutrition is a sterile lab located inside the hospital that allows milk techs to be trained specifically on handling formula and human milk to customize what each infant needs. 

The hospital partners with donor milk banks to serve approximately 60 patients a day. 

Mirissa Massey is a pediatric dietician who say the lab, “allows us to look at the nutritional composition of breast milk. So we can look at fat, protein, and carbohydrates for different kiddos. Sometimes we need higher calorie, lower calorie, low fat. So with that we can look at the composition of milk and then we can skim some fat if they need lower fat, and we can really make it more personal to that patient to help their overall care and get them out of here and home.”

Human milk is stored, prepared and handled in a centralized space. 

“All of our formula techs and milk techs are going to be trained specifically to be handling formula and human milk,” Massey said. “So in our space we have a clean room. We all have to wear PPE gowns, bonnet gloves, face masks, everything to limit bacteria, cross-contamination, anything like that.”

For more information about the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.