Breast milk donation bank opens first Northeast Ohio location

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Breast milk pump and baby lying on the white bed (Getty Images)

NORTH CANTON, Ohio (WJW) — Northeast Ohio’s first milk donation bank opened Saturday.

The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank is a place where women can donate their breast milk.  The bank provides pasteurized human milk to infants whose mothers are unable to provide milk to nourish their babies.

The milk bank opened a location in North Canton on Saturday; it is one of just 29 milk banks in North America and is the company’s ninth location in Ohio.

“We are thrilled to be opening this new milk drop to make donating even easier,” Chris Smith, RN, outreach coordinator and lactation consultant at the milk bank said in a press release.  “With this new milk drop, approved donors in North Canton and the surrounding communities can conveniently donate their milk. Pasteurized donor milk is liquid gold for babies who need it.  In 2019 alone we distributed nearly 376,647 ounces of milk all over the country – that’s about 3,000 gallons! Just one ounce can feed a premature infant for three days, so every little bit helps.”

Once donated, the milk is pasteurized, frozen and distributed by physician prescription.

Mothers interested in becoming donors must take part in a screening process to ensure the quality and safety of their 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 donation bank is located at The Hearth Mother Lactation Services, 1303 West Maple St., Suite 105, in North Canton.

Interested donors are encouraged to email milkbank@ohiohealth.com or call (614) 566.0630 to arrange a screening phone interview.

You can also contact The Hearth Mother at (330) 310-8250 with any additional questions.

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