Union Institute & University’s (UI&U) Maternal Child Health in Human Lactation is one of the few lactation programs in the country offered at both the bachelor’s and master’s level. To complement the innovative degree program, UI&U and OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank (OHMMB) have partnered to open the second milk drop in Cincinnati.
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.
Chris Smith, UI&U alumna (2005), OHMMB Outreach Coordinator & Lactation Consultant, and president of the Ohio Lactation Consultant Association (OLCA) was instrumental in bringing the milk drop to Union.
“As a graduate of UI&U I am excited to see my school reach out and support breastfeeding mothers in the Cincinnati area by opening this milk drop. I feel like this is their way of giving back to the local community as well as supporting the lactation community by supporting milk donation and milk banking,” said Smith.
The donated milk benefits babies in the Cincinnati region.
“Currently, about 23% of donors to the OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank are from the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Area. In the past year, roughly 20,000 ounces of milk has been donated to hospitals in the area. Just one ounce of milk can feed a premature infant for three days. In 2017, OHMMB dispensed about 30,000 ounces (10%) of our milk to four hospitals in the Cincinnati/NKY area,” Smith explained.
A milk drop allows the donor to drop off the milk at Union in one easy stop. Union personnel will immediately put the milk in a freezer and prepare for mailing to the OhioHealth Mother’s Milk Bank. The Union team who worked to make this partnership a reality include Nicole Schreck, Senior Director of Enrollment and Lakesha Williams, Regional Recruiter. Team members who will oversee the process are Renee Cave, receptionist and Chris Clark, maintenance.
To learn more about being a donor, visit https://www.ohiohealth.com/locations/womens-health/mothers-milk-bank/.