Healthy Living: It just got easier for Cincinnati moms to donate breast milk

CINCINNATI – It just got easier for Tri-State moms like Elise Rubenstein to deposit their breast milk at the bank.

You heard right. A Columbus-based company, OhioHealth, has had a breast milk bank for 13 years. It sends donor breast milk to hospitals around the state and across North America. But it wasn’t easy for Elise and other local moms to donate.

The moms used to have to pack it in Styrofoam containers and ship it to Columbus. But a local company has streamlined the process in just the last few weeks.

“We have opened our very first milk drop for donors in the Cincy area,” said Chris Smith of OhioHealth.

Moms who register just drop off their milk at the Mommy Xpress warehouse at 2975 Exon Ave. in Evendale (See a map below). Mommy Xpress distributes breast pumps.

Rubenstein, of Reading, got the idea to donate after her friend gave birth to preemie twins, who had to be cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“She told me back in the NICU about how thankful she was that they could receive donor milk and so that kind of sparked a thought in my mind,” Rubenstein said.

Mothers' milk helps preemies fend off infection.

Last year OhioHealth moms made possible 300,000 donor ounces that went to NICU's in 14 states and Canada.

“They say one ounce of milk will feed a preemie for three days or three preemies for a day,” Smith said, “so if you multiply that out by 300,000 ounces, that's a heck of a lot of babies.”

They hope streamlining the process will attract more donors to help more babies get the best start in life.

Rubenstein said she far exceeded the 150-ounce minimum donation.

If you're interested in donating your milk to help other babies, you can start the process -- which includes paper and lab work - by calling OhioHealth's Milk Bank at 614-566-0630.

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