The lives of thousands of babies are saved every year thanks to the donation of breast milk.

Austin is home to the largest milk bank in the country, and it continues to expand.

For Jeanne Anne Martin’s family, the Mothers’ Milk Bank in Austin was a life saver.

“It was really life and death for us,” she said. “When my first child was born he was diagnosed ‘failure to thrive.’ He just wasn’t gaining weight.”

Martin said her family found out about the milk bank and they received a prescription.

“He went from a five-pound tiny, scrawny, skinny little baby, to this beautiful, big toddler,” after receiving the milk, said Martin.

Even her twin girls needed donor breast milk to be healthy, she said. So when the Cedar Park family heard about the new, 15,000 square-foot facility, they could not help but feel happy.

The bank’s previous location was only 4200 square feet.

Executive director Kim Updergrove said the new building will allow them to double their milk production to a million ounces per year.

She said it will predominantly help babies in neonatal intensive care units whose mothers might be waiting for their own milk to come in.

“That milk will be life-saving, life-giving,” Updergrove said.

Construction on the facility is expected to finish later this spring.