Jun 21 2012

Got milk? Yes, we do!

Children’s & Women’s new Milk Room is a boon to mothers and babies

To a mother, few things are as crucial as the milk her baby will receive from his very first feeding, onward. But for mothers whose babies have special needs—or those who can’t breastfeed when their babies need to—nutrition can become complicated.

That’s where the Milk Room at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital comes into play.

Dietetic technicians Jay Jacobs and Ann Melling mix breast milk and formula in the Milk Room of C&W. Once breast milk and/or formula is properly prepared, it is delivered by dietetic technicians to the patient’s bedside refrigerator twice daily.

The Milk Room opened on the 8th floor of the new C&W in December, and is the only formula and breast milk operation open 24/7 in a children’s hospital. After moms bring their milk to the Milk Room, it is inventoried into a database, stored in secure freezers and refrigerators, handled and delivered twice daily to refrigerators in the patient rooms.

“In general, about 40 percent of our babies use the Milk Room in some capacity directly related to breast milk storage and/or preparation every day,” says Emily Yagiela, R.D., Milk Room supervisor. “In the entire C&W, we serve 50-60% of the total population on a daily basis including neonatal, infant and pediatric patients. From failure-to-thrive babies to those with renal failure, cardiology issues and more, we serve them all.”

And serving them all can mean preparing at least 50 mixed formulas a day in addition to breast milk handling.  Handling includes fortifying breast milk with additional ingredients, freezing and storing expressed breast milk that can’t be used within the required 48-hour time limit, and dispensing ready-to-feed supplements. The Milk Room also delivers ready-to-feed supplements to adult bone marrow transplant patients.

Prior to the Milk Room opening,

    RN staff thawed, organized and fortified breast milk feeds at the bedside prior to each feeding. Eliminating this practice is estimated to save 60 minutes per week for every RN.

“Dieticians and physicians work together to determine what is needed. Everything we need to do is based on the CareLink order form from the medical team,” says Yagiela, who is excited about what the facility brings to the hospital.

“Nurses no longer have to prepare formula at the bedside. And preparation is extremely accurate because that is all we do here, and therefore our staff is highly trained and experienced in formula and breast milk preparation.”

Prior to the Milk Room opening, RN staff thawed, organized and fortified breast milk feeds at the bedside prior to each feeding. “Eliminating this practice is estimated to save 60 minutes per week for every RN,” Yagiela says.

In addition, studies show that preparation in a non-centralized operation can lead to increased infection risk, inaccurate preparation methods, and lack of adequate storage and oversight of expressed breast milk.

“As a parent,

    the Milk Room supplied my son in the NICU and Mott for 122 days. The dietitians always made us feel welcomed. They always asked how my son was doing and went the extra mile for us. They provided the nutrition my son needed to feed and grow. That was a great source of comfort for us as parents.” – Andrea Hasse.

All Milk Room dietetic technicians have earned ServSafe Certification, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Conference for Food Protection.  Like any facility involving food and food preparation, the Milk Room is regularly inspected by OSEH (Occupational Safety and Environment Health). The Milk Room has passed with flying colors.

And every day, Milk Room staff gets to do something really special—they pack up the milk for a family’s trip home.

4 Responses to “Got milk? Yes, we do!”

  1. Ann says:

    What a terrific article and picture! Over the moon
    with pride for my niece!

  2. Claire Powell says:

    As a mother of two, this bring a huge smile to my face! Giving your baby the very best is what every good mother stives for. I’m so impressed and happy that U of M understands how important this is! This is why we are, “The Michigan Difference!”

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for what you do, not only in this department, but in ALL departments throughout the U of M Health System. It is appreciated by so many. Although we may not always have to opportunity to publicly or even privately voice it, I would like to take this say thank you ALL for ALL you do, and thank you personally from me and my family for your countless efforts and hours in assisting us in our health care.


  4. Jen Pantoja says:

    This service and the people that work in it are fantastic! It helps move Michigan toward being a “A Baby Friendly” institution and empowers the best nutrition from the first moments of a child’s life and in the times of the greatest need. Thank you!

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