OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank to Open Milk Drop at OhioHealth Westerville Medical Campus
Columbus, Ohio – The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank is celebrating the opening of a new milk drop at the OhioHealth Westerville Medical Campus with a grand opening event on Aug. 23 at 11 a.m. Located in the laboratory on the second floor of 260 Polaris Parkway, a freezer stores the donated human milk, which is then transferred to the milk bank via courier.
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 27 milk banks in North America – 24 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 Westerville and the surrounding communities can donate without having to drive across town to the milk bank. Pasteurized donor milk is liquid gold for babies who need it. In June 2019 alone we distributed nearly 32,000 ounces of milk all over the country – just one ounce can feed a premature infant for three days, so every little bit helps.”
The milk bank is projecting it will distribute 350,000 ounces to hospitals and babies this year. The pasteurized milk is distributed throughout North America.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide this service to donors in and around Westerville,” said Jessica Polley, site manager of the lab at the Westerville Medical Campus. “Donating human milk will now be much simpler, and we hope this will encourage more women to consider donating.”
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. 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.
If interested, potential donors can email or call the milk bank to get the donation process started.
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/