OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank Opens Milk Drop Site at Wooster Community Hospital
Milk Donations Will Be Accepted by Appointment
The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank is celebrating the opening of a new milk drop site at Wooster Community Hospital with a start date of Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 10 am. Located at 1761 Beall Avenue in Wooster, Wooster Community Hospital will house a freezer to store donated human milk, which will then be transferred to the milk bank in Columbus at no cost to the donor. This initiative was pursued and initiated by the WCH Lactation Team in the Women’s Pavilion.
The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank, under the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), provides pasteurized human milk to those infants whose mothers are unable to provide milk to nourish their babies. It is one of just 29 milk banks in North America – 26 in the United States and three in Canada.
“We are thrilled to be opening this new milk drop to make donating even easier,” said Chris Smith, RN, outreach coordinator and lactation consultant at the milk bank. “With this new milk drop, approved donors in and around Wooster can conveniently donate their milk. Pasteurized donor milk is liquid gold for babies who need it. In 2020 alone we distributed nearly 337,169 ounces of milk all over the country – that’s 2,634 gallons! Just one ounce can feed a premature infant for three days, so every little bit helps.”
The Wooster site marks the 12th OhioHealth milk drop location in Ohio. The donated milk is distributed throughout North America to babies in need.
“We are so excited about the opening of the Wooster Community Hospital Milk Drop,” said Nicole Sword, RN, IBCLC and program coordinator of the lactation department. “We identified a need in our community for this service because there are no other milk drops close by causing an inconvenience to donors or potential donors. This new service will allow us to provide a safe and trouble-free way for nursing mothers to share their milk with medically fragile infants and children that can benefit from the many benefits of human milk.”
The milk bank, which is located in the OhioHealth Eastside Health Center in Columbus, relies on donations from healthy, lactating women who generously provide milk to help other babies. Interested donors are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (614) 566.0630 to arrange a screening phone interview prior to the event. To become a human milk donor, mothers must take part in a screening process to ensure the quality and safety of the milk. This process includes a phone screening to verify eligibility, completion of a medical and lifestyle history review, a signed medical release from the donor and physician and consent to receive a blood test to screen for HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and syphilis. The donated milk is pasteurized, frozen and distributed by physician prescription.
Benefits of Breast Milk
Infants benefit greatly from human milk, especially those who are premature, ill, or have life-threatening conditions. Human milk is the ultimate source of nutrients and immune protection for infants. Babies benefit from the active growth hormones, developmental enzymes, infection fighting, and immunological factors found in human milk.
Research shows that human milk helps pre-term infants:
- Reach full feeds sooner and need fewer IVs
- Mature their intestines faster
- Spend fewer days in the hospital
- Reduce risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (a potentially fatal bowel infection)
- Reduce risk of sepsis (blood infection) and fewer infections
- Experience long-term IQ advantages over formula-fed infants
- Be healthier as older children and adults
More information about the OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank, including a video, may be found at https://www.ohiohealth.com/locations/womens-health/mothers-milk-bank/
About Wooster Community Hospital
Wooster Community Hospital (WCH), built in 1950, is a 172-bed, full-service and acute-care facility. Located in Wooster, the hub of Wayne County, Ohio. WCH is a 7-time IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospital that offers a complete range of inpatient and outpatient services. WCH has continued to expand facilities and add services to meet the needs of the community. For more information, visit www.woosterhospital.org.