WCPO Cincinnati: It just got easier for moms to donate to OhioHealth Milk Bank
The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank has opened its first milk drop in Cincinnati. Located inside the offices of MommyXpress, at 2975 Exon Avenue, a freezer stores donated human milk, which is then shipped to the milk bank in Columbus. Recently, WCPO anchor Kristyn Hartman spoke with Elise Rubenstein, a Cincinnati-area woman who donates her milk. Before the milk drop opened, Rubenstein would need to pack it in a styrofoam container and take it to be shipped. Now, she just has to make a quick dropoff at MommyXpress who handles the rest.
"I hope that someone sees this and sees that it's a pretty easy and straightforward thing to do," Rubenstein told Hartman. "You don't have to give thousands of ounces to make a difference."
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.
“In April and May, we sent nearly 5,000 ounces of donated, pasteurized breast milk to three Cincinnati hospitals,” said Chris Smith, RN, outreach coordinator and lactation consultant at the milk bank. “That was 10% of the milk we distributed during that time. We have already had our first donors at the depot in Cincinnati and I think they are excited to know their milk could help moms and babies right in their community.”
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
Becoming a Donor
The milk bank relies on donations from healthy, lactating women who generously provide milk to help other babies. The donated milk is pasteurized, frozen and distributed by physician prescription. To become a volunteer breast milk donor, mothers must take part in a stringent 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.
For more information about becoming a milk donor, call the OhioHealth Mothers' Milk Bank at (614) 566.0630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.