Online Program

Developing the Oklahoma mothers' milk bank: An innovative partnership

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Rebecca Mannel, BS, IBCLC, Department of OB/GYN, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Background: Action Step 12 of the 2011 Surgeon General's Call to Action calls for the health care system to Identify and address obstacles to greater availability of safe banked donor milk for fragile infants. One of those obstacles is lack of milk banks in most states, including Oklahoma. Oklahoma ranks 39th in infant mortality and 46th in preterm births. In 2011, only one hospital in Oklahoma was routinely providing pasteurized donor milk for infants in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This milk had to be ordered from another state creating challenges in access and timely provision. Methods: The Oklahoma Mothers' Milk Bank (OMMB) was incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit in 2011 and quickly established an innovative partnership with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) and other community organizations. Results: OMMB occupied its physical space in early 2013, hired a clinical director and began processing milk. The innovative partnership with OBI facilitated the development of OMMB leading to operationalizing a new milk bank in less than 2 years. Community awareness of the need for donor milk increased significantly and several additional Oklahoma hospitals began providing donor milk in their NICUs. Conclusions: Opening a milk bank in an underserved state increases the access to pasteurized donor milk for preterm/sick infants. Partnering with a blood bank and other community organizations can facilitate more rapid development and can be a model for developing milk banks around the country.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the difference between a milk depot and a milk bank. Identify 3 key steps involved in formation of a milk bank. Identify 2 potential community partners.

Keyword(s): Infant Mortality, Breastfeeding

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Lactation Manager at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Lactation Coordinator at OU Medical Center (OUMC), Becky has worked to increase availability of donor milk in Oklahoma. She developed the first and only milk depot in Oklahoma and advocated for implementing donor milk usage in OUMC’s NICU, the only Oklahoma hospital currently doing so . She is a founding member of the board of directors for the new Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.