Columbus, OH,
18:00 PM

OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank Seeking Donors Amid Breast Milk Shortage

 Interview and Video Courtesy: OhioHealth 

Pasteurized human milk (PHM) supply has fallen to critically low levels in recent weeks. PHM is currently going to hospitals faster than milk donations are coming in. The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank, under the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), provides PHM to those infants whose mothers are unable to provide milk to nourish their babies. The Milk Bank, which is located in the OhioHealth Eastside Health Center, relies on donations from healthy, lactating women who generously provide milk to help other babies.

The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank has had to limit distributions of PHM to well-baby nurseries and outpatients due to the low levels of milk being donated. The Milk Bank is seeking more and new donors to help alleviate the shortage and ensure lifesaving PHM to medically fragile infants.

One ounce of PHM will feed three premature babies for a day. 

“Pasteurized human milk is to preemies like a blood transfusion is to a trauma patient,” OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank outreach coordinator and lactation consultant, Chris Smith, RN, IBCLC, said, “It is lifesaving.”

In 2023, the Milk Bank distributed over 464,000 ounces of PHM across Ohio and eight other states. Within that, 92 percent went to hospitals, eight percent went to outpatients.