Hawaii Mothers’ Milk, Inc. (HMMI) was founded in 1975 as a milk bank. The agency was first housed on Kuakini Street in the old Children’s Hospital (now the Rehab Hospital of the Pacific) in a closet where HMMI collected and pasteurized donated breastmilk for the babies in the NICU. In 1978, Kapi‘olani Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital merged and our office was moved to the Bingham Building till recently (the summer of 2016) when our office (still at Kapi‘olani) moved into the 3rd floor of Kapi‘olani’s newest building, the Diamond Head Tower that also houses the best state of the art technology for Kapi’olani’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Our new office is beautiful designed to help HMMI better provide breastfeeding counseling to our community and still be close to those patients requiring critical care.
HMMI has grown from banking milk to a comprehensive breastfeeding resource center, which provides professional education and lactation counseling so that mothers may provide their own breastmilk for their baby, even when faced with any type of challenge such as having a hospitalized baby. Our agency feels the location here at Kapi‘olani is important to better work closely with the NICU patients, Neonatology Doctors, nurses and staff of Kapi‘olani Medical Center to better help address the needs of their critically ill infants.
Our small dedicated staff handles about 3,000 visits a year with 42% of those visits for Lactation Consultations while our breastfeeding warmline handles close to 4,000 phone calls annually. Without this professional, individualized assistance, it is likely that many mothers would not continue to nurse after the first few days or weeks following birth. Home visits from a licensed lactation consultant on Oahu cost from $100-$125 per hour. HMMI is still providing our community with professional lactation consultation services free of charge to the women of Hawaii. By providing complimentary services, HMMI enables new mothers, regardless of economic status, to choose breastfeeding over formula feedings, providing their newborn infant with the best nutrition and healthiest start in life.
We are a private 501 (c) (3) non-profit, Aloha United Way agency (Designation #96120) totally supported by the generosity of our community through fundraising, grants and private donations. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Donations and support by the community assures the on-going existence of this vital service of assisting women to provide their own breastmilk – the milk best suited for their babies!
Our office is open 9am to 2pm, Monday through Friday and closed on weekends and holidays. HMMI does offered extended hours to accommodate any increase demands from the community concerning breastfeeding difficulties. Appointments are requested for latch-on and one-on-one counseling to give our mothers ample time to receive the help they seek.