Donors can Donate till 2nd Year Postpartum

by Sarah Long, IBCLC, Clinical Coordiantor, The Milk Bank


The Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank would like to announce that we have extended the length of time Donors are eligible to make breast milk donations.


Approved milk donors are now able to donate their excess breast milk until their second year postpartum.


Why the change in policy?


As the demand for pasteurized donor human milk has increased among ordering hospitals, so too has the demand increased among outpatients.  Instead of reducing our approval criteria we felt it best to extend the amount of time a fully screened and approved donor is eligible to donate. This change means an increased ability for IMMB to be able to meet the needs of ordering hospitals as well as potential outpatients.


There are three classifications of breast milk donations for us:

  1. Pre-Term: Breast Milk expressed when a baby is born at or before 36 weeks gestation. Mothers’ making pre-term milk only produce  pre-term milk for 30 days after birth. Pre-term milk is dispensed to ordering hospital for use with very fragile infants or neonates because of it’s increased levels of protein and fat.
  2. Term: Breast milk expressed after 36 weeks gestation until 1 year postpartum.  Term breast milk provides the optimum nutrition and is our most abundant donation. Term milk is dispensed to ordering hospitals for use in their NICU’s or baby nurseries for premature or ill infants.
  3. Outpatient: Breast milk expressed after 1st year postpartum until the 2nd year postpartum. Outpatient milk is dispensed to babies requiring the use of breast milk who are well or have limited medical needs.



All current donor restrictions and guidelines still apply. Donor moms are asked to continue to refrain from medication use, unless approved by IMMB, they must continue to be non-smokers and must follow expressing and storage guidelines. Breast milk stored in a deep freezer will continue to be accepted for 8 months from the date it was pumped and breast milk stored in a side by side or top freezer will be accepted for 5 months from the date it was pumped.


New and current milk donors are asked to commit to donating 100oz of breast milk by their child’s second birthday. There no restrictions as to how much breast  milk must be donated at one time but we ask that donors try to supply us with 50oz at a time.


We hope this extension will allow us greater access to your most precious commodity and allow us to serve a greater population.