Marietta Memorial hospital opens first breast milk donation station

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Marietta Memorial is now accepting donations of breast milk at its new donation station.

Hospital staff say this is the first milk donation drop off site in the Mid-Ohio Valley. In order to donate, women must go through a thorough screening process, including blood work, which tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and more which can be transmitted via the milk.

If a donor is eligible, her donations are sent to Ohio Health Milk Bank to be pasteurized, cultured and shipped to help babies at hospitals across the country.

"Those babies have much less ear infections that are breastfed," nurse manager, Susan Knotts said, "they have a less chance of obesity as adults, so there's really scientifically-recognized benefits to breastfeeding to the baby, and there's benefits to the mother too. I do see an uptick in how many women want to breastfeed and this is just another way that we can support them."

The program has had three donors since starting in December and staff say they are receiving more interested mothers every day. To learn more, call Memorial Health at 614-566-0630.