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OhioHealth Mothers' Milk Bank opens in Cleveland

The milk bank opened at Neighborhood Family Practice on Ridge Road.

CLEVELAND — The OhioHealth Mothers' Milk Bank has a new drop location in Cleveland.

The grand opening at Neighborhood Family Practice (NFP) at 3545 Ridge Road in Cleveland happened Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 11 a.m. 

The drop site will "house a freezer to store donated human milk from pre-screened donors and the donated milk will then be transferred to the milk bank in Columbus at no cost to the donor. The NFP location will not distribute milk directly to families," the news release said. "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."

The Cleveland site marks the 20th OhioHealth milk drop location in Ohio. The donated milk is then distributed throughout North America to babies in need, the release said. This location is drop-off only.

"With this new milk drop, approved donors in and around Cleveland can conveniently donate their milk. Pasteurized donor milk is liquid gold for babies who need it. In 2021 alone we distributed nearly 421,107 ounces of milk to hospitals in 11 states – that's 3,289 gallons! Just one ounce can feed a premature infant for three days, so every little bit helps," said Chris Smith, RN, IBCLC, outreach coordinator and lactation consultant at the milk bank.

Interested donors are encouraged to email milkbank@ohiohealth.com 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. 

According to the news release, research shows that human milk helps pre-term infants in the following ways:

• 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

For more information on OhioHealth Mothers' Milk Bank, click HERE.

Editor's Note: The following video is from an unrelated story.

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