Special to 1812Blockhouse; From OhioHealth

OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital is excited to announce the expansion of lactation services to support mothers as well as newborns and infants.

The services include outpatient lactation services as well as becoming an OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Drop location. The hospital celebrated the expansion of these services through a ribbon cutting on February 24. The celebration was live streamed by the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development on Facebook.

“Mansfield Hospital Maternity Care offers a higher level of care for mothers and fragile newborns. We’re fortunate to have a six-year partnership with Nationwide Children’s pediatric hospitalists, who care for children, including newborns, at Mansfield Hospital. In addition, we also have the only Level 2 Special Care Nursery in the area for newborns with additional needs,” said Kelly Payne, MSN, RNC-NIC, administrative nurse manager of mother-infant/Special Care Nursery at Mansfield Hospital. “Now we’re expanding our support for lactating and non-lactating mothers, so newborns and infants can receive the nourishment they need.”

Mansfield Hospital has had inpatient lactation services as well as The Lactation Club, which is a support group to provide opportunities for breastfeeding mothers to share experiences with one another.

Outpatient lactation services will now be available for mothers who are experiencing challenges with attachment, milk quantity, nipple soreness, or inability for the newborn or infant to gain weight. The lactation consultant can also help with positioning techniques. Mothers can call (419) 526-8055 for an appointment.

Mansfield Hospital will store human milk from eligible donors until it can be transferred to the milk bank in Columbus for processing. Donated milk could be distributed throughout North America to help babies, and Mansfield Hospital will be one of the recipient locations of pasteurized human milk for infants, whose mothers are unable to provide milk. A physician prescription is required in order for a newborn or infant to receive donated milk.

OH Mothers Milk Bank - Storage

OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank recently established Mansfield Hospital as a Mothers’ Milk Drop location. The new milk drop site will collect breast milk donations from healthy, lactating women. Interested donors are encouraged to call (614) 566-0630 to arrange a screening phone interview.

“We are thrilled to be opening this new milk drop to make donating even easier,” said Chris Smith, RN, IBCLC, outreach coordinator and lactation consultant, OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank. “With this new milk drop, approved donors in and around Mansfield can conveniently donate their milk. Pasteurized donor milk is liquid gold for babies who need it. In 2021 alone, the OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank distributed nearly 421,107 ounces of milk all over the country – that’s 3,289 gallons! Just one ounce can feed a premature infant for three days, so every little bit helps.”

Mansfield Hospital’s Special Care Nursery team cares for neonates as young as 32 weeks, allowing most newborns born at Mansfield Hospital to stay close to home. Newborns that need a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will be transferred to a children’s hospital. Once the newborn no longer needs that level of care, the child can come to Mansfield Hospital’s Special Care Nursery in order to complete their care closer to home.

OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank is one of 29 milk banks in North America – 26 in the United States and three in Canada. To become a human milk donor, mothers must take part in a screening process to ensure the quality and safety of the milk. This process includes a phone screening to verify eligibility, completion of a medical and lifestyle history review, a signed medical release from the donor and physician, and consent to receive a blood test to screen for HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and syphilis.

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