09-20-2012 (Dayton, OH) -
Since 2006, The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton has partnered with The Mothers Milk Bank of Ohio (MMBO) to provide donor breast milk to its tiniest infants. Currently, MMBO as well as other milk banks nationally are facing a critical shortage of breast milk and are looking for mothers to consider being donors.
On average, Dayton Children’s sees 50 very low birth weight (VLBW) babies each year in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). Breast milk is extremely important for any baby, but for very premature babies it can be life-saving. Breast milk provides protection for these infants because it contains live cells, immunoglobulins, enzymes, and hormones.
“Human milk protects very low birth rate infants in a variety of ways for some of the serious complications of prematurity” says Mari Jo Rosenbauer, NICU Lactation Consultant/ Resource Nurse. “We encourage moms to provide their own milk if at all possible, but sometimes they are not able to either produce enough or cannot use their milk due to drugs not compatible with breastfeeding. This is when we offer the donor breast milk.”
Dayton Children’s is the regional collection site for the MMBO. Any breast milk donated in Dayton is collected at Dayton Children’s and then sent to Columbus to be pasteurized. Recently, the number of donations has been down, which affects both the MMBO and the babies in the NICU at Dayton Children’s.
The MMBO is looking for mothers who is currently providing milk for her own baby and has extra. To review guidelines for donating, mothers can visit Ohiohealth.com or contact the Mothers' Milk Bank of Ohio at (614) 544-0810.
Those volunteering for donating breast milk must be:
- Currently lactating
- In good general health
- Willing to undergo a blood test (at the Mothers' Milk Bank's expense)
- Free of medication or herbal supplements (with some exceptions)
- Willing to donate at least 200 ounces of milk (no requirement for bereaved mothers)
Read one mother's story of being a breast milk donor on our every kid counts blog
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