At Children’s Health℠, we are proud of our Milk Lab. Led by the Clinical Nutrition department, the Milk Lab provides a centralized location for the handling of expressed breast milk (EBM), which aligns with best practice research. Our team is able to focus on making sure the milk is processed and stored properly, and the nurses are able to focus on taking care of the patient.
Centralizing the receiving, storage, preparation and distribution of EBM through the Milk Lab has the following benefits:
Sarah Bradley, RD/LD says “The Milk Lab has played a vital role in increasing patient safety; this is greatly appreciated in high risk populations such as newborns and infants undergoing open heart surgery. I know the families appreciate the support they receive from the Milk Lab staff throughout their admission, as well their assistance with packing up at discharge. These families find comfort knowing that their ‘liquid gold’ truly receives the royal treatment during their stay here at Children's Health℠.”
Jana Meeks, RN, also adds “This is the first hospital I’ve worked at with a Milk Lab. I’ve enjoyed it because I don’t have to rush to prepare milk, so I get to spend more time with the patient.”
Our Milk Lab is only for mothers who are pumping for their babies that are currently hospitalized at Children’s Health.
The Milk Lab is staffed by specially trained Milk Lab Technicians 7 days a week. They ensure each container of EBM is properly labeled and is stored in a designated bin for each child. They monitor the expiration dates to prioritize the use of fresh EBM, maximizing the health benefits to the child. If EBM will not be used before it expires, they move it to a deep freezer for optimal long-term storage. For children requiring added nutrients in their EBM, the Milk Lab provides a sterile preparation space where each ingredient is measured precisely and combined carefully.
The Milk Lab, located at D7101 at the Dallas campus, was designed using best practices to minimize the risk of patients receiving incorrect or improperly prepared EBM. The design is also intended to improve nurse efficiency and standardize procedures.