OhioHealth Mother's Milk Bank: Donate to Save a Life
Every day mothers nationwide are facing the battle of not being able to provide milk for their babies. Mothers who produce an excess amount or who have lost a newborn now have a way to give back and help mothers in need.
The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank has been supplying donated milk for babies since 2005. This donated milk is used for babies whose mothers are unable to produce enough milk for their newborns. OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank is the only one in Ohio, and one of just 24 in the country.
The milk that is donated goes through a pasteurization process and is completely safe for the newborns with a shelf life of up to a year. Over the past 14 years, OhioHealth has had 4,000 donors provide their milk to the milk bank.
“Our goal is to feed babies,” Chris Smith, lactation consultant and outreach coordinator, told The Columbus Dispatch.
Breast milk contains vital nutrients for newborns, such as immune boosting antibodies. It can also lower their risk for viruses, respiratory infections and inflammatory bowel disease.
OhioHealth has just recently opened a new milk drop location at the OhioHealth Westerville Medical Campus. A milk drop is a location for approved donors to drop off their donated milk. This is the first location in central Ohio, which will make the donation process more convenient for many of the donors. The Milk Bank distributes to 75 hospitals throughout Ohio, 13 states and Canada. Just last year the amount of milk distributed increased by 50,000 ounces.
“One ounce of milk will feed three babies for one day,” Smith told NBC4. “They’re taking such small volumes that a little bit of milk goes a long way when feeding babies.”
The milk bank is always looking for more donors. To become a donor there is a thorough screening process that involves a phone interview, a written health-history questionnaire and a signed consent form from the mom’s doctor and the baby’s doctor.
Want to learn how to donate to the Milk Bank? Click here.
To read more about OhioHealth's Mother's milk Bank, click on The Columbus Dispatch or NBC4 logo below.
Photos in this article are courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch.