Lactation Services

A Mothers Gift: Donor Breast Milk

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There are two beautiful sides to donor breast milk, the mother that donates the milk and the babies that receive it.  There are many reasons that mothers choose to donate their milk and there are many reasons that babies need this liquid gold. Donated breast milk can be vital to babies are that in the NICU, underweight due to low milk supply, babies with low blood sugar before the mother’s milk supply is established and more.

The mamas that are able to provide this gift are able to for different reasons but they all have the same selfless quality and that is extending their milk to another. For some mothers, they have an over supply and rather than trying to lessen it, they pump after feedings and are able to produce freezer-fulls to donate.  Some will continue to pump and donate after their child is finished breastfeeding. Then there are the stories of loss, mothers that pump their milk during their grieving process. Some find this as a connection to their child that passed. In all of these unique scenarios, the end result is a priceless gift.

Health Foundations Birth Center is a full lactation center, which means we accept donor milk at our location for the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio. We also have breast milk available for purchase.

If you would like to give the gift of breast milk, here are the steps to take:

  • Call the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio at 614-566-0630. They will do an over-the-phone screening first. After the screening they will ship you a kit that includes the basic lab supplies, your donor ID and some containers for your milk. You can use your own containers as well.
  • Once you receive your kit, call Health Foundations and make a quick lab appointment. When your labs have been drawn, we will ship them to Ohio for you. The reason for this is to confirm that it would be safe for you donate milk. They check for certain diseases such as HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis.
  • After the full screening process, you can bring in your containers of milk to Health Foundations. The containers must be labeled with your Donor ID. We will ship them for you to the Ohio Milk Bank.

The following are some resources for families looking for donor milk:

  • You can purchase donor milk from Health Foundations Birth Center. We ask that you call ahead to ensure that we have the milk in stock. You do not need a prescription or doctor's order. The cost is $13.53 for three ounces. The milk is frozen. Our staff ensures that you understand how to thaw and handle the donor milk.
  • You can also purchase donor milk directly from the Mothers Milk Bank of Ohio 614-566-0630. If you are purchasing direct you will need a prescription from your pediatrician.
  • There are local organizations that help coordinate mom-to-mom milk sharing which can be useful for long-term donor milk supplementation.

At Health Foundations Birth Center, our lactation consultants and postpartum nurses are here to assist you with any and all questions or lactation concerns you have related to breastfeeding your new baby. 

We also have a group, Mama's Milk Hour, led by Jan Kaste, IBCLC. This group meets every Thursday at 2:30. It is free and open to the public. You have a chance to weigh your baby, nurse and weigh your baby again to get an idea of how much your baby is eating at each feeding. Jan is there for basic questions and advice.

Lactation Services at Health Foundations

Breastfeeding Mama

If you’re expecting your first baby and are planning to breastfeed, you likely have images in your head of lovingly nursing your newborn in your new cushy glider as he drifts off to sleep and you gaze down in awe of your little miracle. You probably have these images because that’s how we often see breastfeeding portrayed in photos and movies. Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural way to nourish your baby while creating a lasting bond. But it’s unfortunately not always as easy as you expect. Problems such as a poor latch and lip and tongue ties can leave both you and your baby in tears as you struggle to overcome the learning curve on your way to nursing bliss. That’s why, at Health Foundations, we offer comprehensive lactation services to get you on your way to building a successful breastfeeding relationship with your new baby.

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Lactation consultation can begin as soon as your baby is born with guidance and instruction from our team on how to get baby latched on properly and receiving the vital colostrum that precedes your milk coming in. But it doesn’t end there. During your postpartum visit, our registered nurse Jan Kaste will answer any questions you have about breastfeeding, address any difficulties that have arisen, and troubleshoot any problems to ensure that you and baby can get back on track. 

“Nursing is a learned skill that often benefits from time spent with a lactation consultant. We offer lactation education on a one to one basis to get new moms through those first challenging weeks. Reassurance and individualized problem solving create the best chance for each mom to successfully reach her breastfeeding goals.” –Jan Kaste, RN, Nurse Practitioner.

If you’re breastfeeding challenges are not resolved during your postpartum visit, you are welcome to schedule a one on one consultation at the Birth Center. During a lactation consultation, we will assess your concerns and give you the individualized attention, support and guidance needed to help you achieve your breastfeeding goals. It is not uncommon for it to take a month or even two to get in a comfortable groove with your baby as you both learn to navigate the rewarding and nutritive relationship of breastfeeding. 

In addition to private consultations, we also offer a number of classes and groups to support you in your breastfeeding journey. These options include:

Breastfeeding Class (First Wednesday and Third Tuesday of Every Month, 6:00-7:00 PM): This class focuses on getting off to a great start with a comfortable latch as well as understanding nursing positions and infant feeding cues. The class also covers nutrition for breastfeeding, breastfeeding supplies, and common concerns such as infant growth spurts.

Mama’s Milk Hour (Thursdays from 2:30-3:30 PM): This group is a wonderful way to gain support in breastfeeding in those early weeks.  Come weigh your baby, practice breastfeeding in public, ask questions and connect with other mamas. Free and open to the public.

Pump Talk 101 (First Thursday of Every Month from 3:30pm - 4:30pm): If you’re returning to work soon, this class will help you learn how to make the transition by teaching the ins and outs of pumping and storing milk after you return to your job.

To learn more about the lactation services, classes and groups at Health Foundations, contact us to speak to a lactation consultant. We are dedicated to helping you achieve your breastfeeding goals and supporting you on the way.