Should You Be Donating Breast Milk? Is Donor Breast Milk Safe?

Oversupply Jan 18, 2021

Everything About Breast Milk Donation

Why Should You Consider Donating Your Extra Breast Milk?

  • When donating breast milk, all costs, including the bottles and shipment (if needed) are paid by the milk bank.
  • Some mothers have an oversupply of breast milk. Instead of dumping the extra breast milk, why not save a life with it.
  • Some babies cannot thrive on formula, due to allergies and other medical conditions.
  • Some mothers cannot provide breast milk due to surgery or cancer.
  • Breast milk is not only used for babies, but is being used to help patients who have undergone liver transplants, cancer, and other diseases.
  • Some premature babies are unable to digest formula and need breast milk to survive.
  • A breast milk donor can provide a way for an adopted baby to have the best start possible.
  • Pumping and/or breastfeeding can be a way to lose the extra pounds.
premature baby, donating breast milk, preemie baby
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

Donor Milk Is Usually Prescribed For

  • Premature infants.
  • Infants with allergies.
  • Infants who have a formula intolerance.
  • For the treatment of disease.
  • For babies with a metabolism that is ineffective.

How to Get Donated Breast Milk

You will need to get a prescription from your doctor. Donor milk can be picked up at the breastmilk bank or even shipped to you.

Is Donor Breast Milk Safe?

  • All mothers that want to start donating breast milk will be screened for Hepatitis B and C, HIV 1 & 2 and HTLV 1 & 2.
  • They must also provide evidence of immunity to rubella, a negative syphilis test and provide their TB and herpes record.
  • The donor milk is usually pasteurized at the milk bank before it is used.
  • Mothers who smoke, drink too much coffee or take any illegal drugs are not allowed to be breast milk donors.

How Much Does It Cost?

Some milk banks do charge a small fee for the processing and transport, which can be between $2 – 3 per ounce. Breast milk is also sometimes covered by medical aids.

Selling breast milk is illegal, breast milk banks should be dependent on donations and are supposed to be non-profit organizations, but unfortunately, you get a few that try to sell breast milk for a profit.

When moms donate their breast milk, they should make sure that they are donating their milk to a non-profit organization, so that the milk can be given to babies who are really in need and not just babies whose mothers can afford it.

Collection and storage

If the breast milk bank is in your area, you can usually just pump the milk, freeze it and somebody from the milk bank will come to pick up the milk. Every little bit of milk that a mother can donate counts.

A premature baby can sometimes be fed on just 20ml of milk per day! Learn more about the safe storage guidelines of breast milk.

How to Donate Breast Milk

  • Donating breast milk does include a process, which includes getting some blood tests done.
  • You will need the consent of your doctor.
  • Some hospitals do have milk donation programs.
  • Private milk donation (mother-to-mother) allows you to help other babies in your area. Ask around, find out if there is a need for breast milk at your local hospital.

Breast milk donation website

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America “HMBABA" The human milk bank is really wonderful, as they will give the milk to families that really need it, regardless of whether they can pay the small fee.

The milk is also pasteurized and entirely safe for babies who are terminally ill or very premature. When you donate to HMBABA, you know that your breast milk is not going to be sold for a profit.

Why is Breast Milk Preferred over Formula?


Tracy Behr

A homeschooling mother of two, breastfeeding helper, and lover of all things natural! Currently studying plant-based nutrition.

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