Columbus, OH,
19:42 PM

OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank Opens Milk Drop Site at Riverside Methodist Hospital Women’s Boutique

The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank celebrated the grand opening of a new milk drop location at Riverside Methodist Hospital Women’s Boutique on Friday, June 9 2023.  The new milk drop site, located at 3535 Olentangy River Road. in Columbus, houses a freezer to store donated human milk, which will then be transferred to the milk bank in Whitehall at no cost to the donor.

"We are so excited to be partnering with the OhioHealth Mother’s Milk bank to open a milk donation drop off location at the OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital Women’s Boutique and Outpatient Lactation Center,” Riverside Methodist Hospital Administrative Nurse Manager of High-Risk Obstetrics and Lactation, Janie Haynes, MSN, RNC-efm, said, “This is such an amazing opportunity to support our community of breastfeeding moms and babies.”

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 31 milk banks in North America – 28 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, IBCLC, outreach coordinator and lactation consultant at the milk bank.  “With this new milk drop, approved donors in and around Columbus can conveniently donate their milk. Pasteurized donor milk is liquid gold for babies who need it.  In 2022 alone we distributed nearly 450,000 ounces of milk to hospitals in 11 states – that’s 3,515 gallons! Just one ounce can feed a premature infant for three days, so every little bit helps.”

The Columbus site marks the 23rd OhioHealth milk drop location in Ohio. The donated milk is distributed throughout North America to babies in need.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to continue providing a safe space for families to be taken care of whether they are giving or receiving,” Riverside Director of Nursing, Marie Cooper, said, “This will ensure nursing mothers have a convenient place to drop off their precious gift of donated breastmilk to share with infants and children who are the most in need.”

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 or call (614) 566.0630 to arrange a screening phone interview. 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