- Free pregnancy testing
- Bilingual, free counseling services
- Confidential information and support
- Assistance in obtaining medical care
- Parenting education
- Independent living skills
- Referrals to other needed services
- Abstinence-only education
- Monthly Support Group
We can assist with diapers, formula and basic baby needs (i.e., blankets, clothes, etc.)
Who can participate in the Pregnancy Program?
Anyone who is expecting a baby can receive assistance from the Pregnancy Program. We welcome both mothers and fathers-to-be.
What resources can the Pregnancy Program assist me with?
We can assist you with obtaining medical insurance, applying for WIC, applying for childbirth classes, and acquiring baby equipment. We can also provide you with information about pregnancy - a variety of issues.
What can I expect when I meet with the Pregnancy Program worker?
Our staff are trained social workers and health professionals who will provide non-judgmental support during your pregnancy. We understand that you may have a lot of questions about your pregnancy and feeling overwhelmed - we are here to listen.
What if I am not sure if I am ready to be a parent?
We provide counseling and support to help you make important decisions about your pregnancy and deal with the many feelings that are involved in making the decisions.
What if I am unable to raise a child at this time in my life?
Our staff are here to answer your questions and provide information in a nonjudgmental and loving way.
331 Main Street
Norwich, CT 06360
NORWICH, CT – Catholic Charities announced the grand opening of two human milk depots in its Norwich and New London locations, in partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.
Prior to the opening of these depots, donors in Eastern CT would have to travel to either Guilford or Danbury to drop off a donation in person. Ed Tessman, Executive Director of Catholic Charities said, “This is a logical extension of our Pregnancy Services Program and one that aligns well with our mission of responding to Christ’s call to care for those in need. Opening a milk depot in Eastern CT and partnering with MMBNE will give nursing mothers an opportunity to Provide Help and Create Hope for so many fragile babies in need of this life saving milk.”
Why is this important?
Human milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants. It is especially protective against a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which affects one in ten of the smallest preterm infants. Human breastmilk is estimated to lower the risk of this condition by 79%. It also lowers hospital costs by reducing costs for care and shortening hospital stays.
What is a Milk Depot?
A milk depot is a community location where screened milk donors can drop off milk for shipment to a milk bank. The milk bank collects milk from mothers who have more milk than their babies need; then screens, pasteurizes, and tests the milk; then dispenses it primarily to premature and sick babies whose mothers do not have enough milk for them. Mothers from the Norwich and New London areas will now be able, with an appointment, to drop off their milk conveniently at the depot for shipment to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE).
16 Depots in 7 States
With the opening of these locations, MMBNE will now have 16 depots in seven states throughout the Northeast. “The presence of a milk depot signifies a deep commitment to the health and well-being of the most vulnerable members of the community—the fragile babies whose lives depend on safe, pasteurized donor milk,” commented Ann Marie Lindquist, Director of Community Relations for Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. “We are delighted to partner with Catholic Charities to serve the community in this way.”
Milk Donor Screening
Milk donor screening, modeled after blood donor screening, includes health history, physician approval, and a blood test. These are some of the many measures taken to ensure the safety of milk for the fragile premature and sick babies served by MMBNE and the hospitals that use the milk. Milk from mothers who pass the screening is also pasteurized and tested by an independent lab to ensure safety before being dispensed to hospitals or families.
Norwich mother Jamie McCann is one of over 4,000 milk donors who have been screened by Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. She shared her excitement about this new community resource: "Donating milk is such a rewarding experience knowing I am helping babies in need. This new milk depot is creating the opportunity to reach more moms, which means helping more babies!" Jamie hopes to inaugurate the Norwich depot by bringing a milk donation to the opening.
Donor milk is rapidly becoming the standard supplement to mothers' milk for preterm infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). In addition, an increasing number of community hospitals with regular and special care nurseries use donor milk when babies need a supplement to their mothers’ own milk. Connecticut hospitals that currently offer donor milk from MMBNE include Middlesex Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hospital of Central Connecticut, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, and Yale New Haven Hospital.
Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast is a nonprofit community milk bank accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). MMBNE has been screening donors, pasteurizing milk, and dispensing to over 80 hospitals and to families throughout the Northeastern United States since 2011.
Mothers who wish to donate milk can review guidelines on the milk bank website, www.milkbankne.org/donate, then contact a Donor Intake Coordinator for screening at 617-527-6263 x3 or email@example.com. Approved donors can then drop off milk at the new depots by contacting 860-912-5978.
THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS!!!
Without the support of our sponsors and supporters, we could not provide the baby clothes and cribs that new mothers receive through this wonderful program.
Norwich Council of Catholic Women has been supporting women in need since the council founded Catholic Charities Diocese of Norwich in 1921. The group's dedicated support helps clothe newborns, care for mothers, and create the best scenario possible for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. The group hosts an annual Baby Layette that generates many of the clothes and diapers Catholic Charities gives out to new mothers.