OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank Legacy Tree Rooted in Love
At the OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank, located at East Main Street in Columbus, supporting all families through ups and downs is a priority.
For some families that support means receiving pasteurized milk for their babies while in the hospital, for other families, it means receiving support while they grieve. The Milk Bank has created a Legacy Tree in memory of babies who have gone too soon.
Each leaf bears the names and dates of birth of babies whose mothers have donated milk in their memory.
Families like the Smiths decided to donate in hopes of helping other families. Tiffany and Bill Smith lost their baby boy, Billy, back in 2020. He passed away while in his father’s arms.
Billy only lived six days, and within those six days, he was fed donated milk while they were in the hospital. That’s when Tiffany and Bill were first introduced to the Milk Bank.
“They came in with some donated breast milk for Billy to feed in a syringe,” Bill said.
Since 2005, the OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank has been supplying pasteurized donated human milk to more than 70 hospitals in Ohio and 12 other states.
“It helps save the lives of the tiniest and sickest babies,” Nurse Donor Coordinator, Marla Wilson, RN, CLC, says, “After pasteurization, and lab testing shows no bacteria, we can then distribute to hospitals.”
Tiffany and Bill now have Alice, their rainbow baby.
“A rainbow baby is a baby after a loss,” Tiffany said.
Even after having Alice, Tiffany continues to donate milk to the Milk Bank.
For families like the Smiths, being part of the tree and continuing to donate helps them heal. Their plan is to one day tell Alice about her baby brother, and to share how her being born helped other families.