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Today's Family Magazine

First breast milk dispensary in northeast Ohio opens

Breastfeeding Medicine of Northeast Ohio (BFMEDNEO) in partnership with OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank in Columbus, has opened the first non-hospital-based breast milk dispensary in the region.  The dispensary, located at 2054 S. Green Road in South Euclid offers pasteurized donor breast milk for the public to purchase. 

BFMEDNEO’s new milk dispensary service, enables families with a prescription to pick up the processed milk locally.  The milk is provided by The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank, which under the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, provides pasteurized human milk to fragile infants and as a bridge to mother’s own milk. 

The Milk Bank relies on donations from healthy, lactating women who generously provide milk to help other babies.  In 2022, the Milk Bank dispensed 449,382 ounces of milk to 72 hospitals and 205 outpatients in eight states plus Ohio.  That is 3,511 gallons of milk.  Each ounce of pasteurized human milk will feed three premature infants for a day.

“Some families need to start supplementation while waiting for their milk supply to increase, and while in the hospital after delivery they may have the option to supplement with pasteurized donor breast milk,” said Ann M Witt, MD, FABM, IBCLC, founder and director of Breastfeeding Medicine of Northeast Ohio.  She has worked with thousands of mothers throughout northeast Ohio providing medical and lactation support to help mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals. 

“Upon discharge there has not been a readily available option to continue donor breast milk.  We have seen this need for years, and hear from many families how frustrated they are to not continue to provide exclusive breast milk to their infants,” Dr. Witt added.  “When the Milk Bank contacted us about the possibility of a dispensary we were very excited.”

“Additionally, for those families who have a goal of exclusive breastfeeding and have a delay in their milk production increasing, they will have another option to provide breast milk while figuring out the next steps,” Dr. Witt says, “This is truly wonderful news for area women in need of donor milk.”  

Most dispensaries are in hospitals—in specialty units such as NICUs and not available to the general public.  The BFMEDNEO dispensary is accessible to the public.  Given that most insurance companies do not cover outpatient donor bridge milk, families will need to pay the processing, handling and shipping fee for the dispensed milk.  Pasteurized human donor milk is sold in three oz. bottles.  The cost is $16 per three oz. bottle which includes the milk bank processing of $12.75 per three ounces, plus shipping and handling.

In order to receive milk at the dispensary, families can arrange pickup either during scheduled appointments at BFMEDNEO or at a donor milk pickup-only appointment, which are scheduled Monday through Friday, from 1-4 pm.  Families will need to complete the forms found on the Breastfeeding Medicine of Northeast Ohio website at

The OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank has 21 milk drop-off sites in Ohio, where milk is accepted from approved donors.  Those wishing to donate breast milk should contact the OhioHealth Mothers’ Milk Bank at 614-566-0630 to begin the process today or email them at [email protected].