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OhioHealth Lactation Stations Provide Convenience, Information at Ohio State Fair

Lactation Rooms


Since 1850, the Ohio State Fair has been bringing fun and excitement to attendees. Whether it’s seeing the animals, eating fair food or riding the rides, many families have their own traditions. Four years ago, OhioHealth began helping families with young children have a more comfortable fair experience by opening Infant Care and Nursing Stations throughout the fairgrounds.

The four air-conditioned stations include chairs, couches, changing tables and books and toys for older siblings.

In 2018, OhioHealth brought something new the stations, with trained lactation consultants on-site a couple of days to offer support and complimentary consultations.

“We’re here to support moms and help them breastfeed and just take some time away to spend with their little ones,” said Ashlie Barker, RN, OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital lactation consultant.

During their visit to the stations, parents were able to ask the lactation consultants questions, from the simple to the complex.

“We’ve had questions about milk storage – we’re in the heat and what to do,” said Barker. “All the way up to ‘my baby had thrush’ and what to do with that. ‘Is my milk safe that I have frozen?’ Anything from the simplest question to something more medical. It was nice to be there to answer those questions.”

The lactation consultants said mothers should feel proud to breastfeed in public.

“I think we’re living in a wonderful time where mothers can go out in public and breastfeed their children,” said Whitney Mirvis, RN, lead lactation consultant at Riverside. “We’re seeing a wonderful trend where breastfeeding is again being looked at as the norm, not the alternative and so I think the general public now expects to see women breastfeeding their children.

Watch the video above for tips about breastfeeding on the go.

Do you have questions about breastfeeding? You can call the OhioHealth Breastfeeding Helpline at (614) 566.3434. Or if you are interested in a private consultation or other breastfeeding support services, click here for more information.