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Milk Banking

The 12 Days of Milk Banking

The 12 Days of Milk Banking

In the spirit of the holiday season, The Milk Bank staff is embracing the popular song, The 12 Days of Christmas, to showcase our milk banking process as we lead up to Christmas Day. Follow along with us, and enjoy your families throughout the holidays!

7 Tips to Ease the Anxiety of Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding in public is a woman’s right, it is supported by law in 48states, but the practical side of this can be a real issue and many new mothers worry about negative reactions to feeding their baby in front of strangers.

Part of the convenience of breastfeeding is that you have all your equipment right there, milk at the perfect temperature, ready at any time! To be able to leave the house and feed your baby wherever you like should be easy, right? In Theory. But not everyone is comfortable with breastfeeding in pubic, so here are some practical pointers that may ease the anxiety felt by so many new Mothers.

  1. Practice at home, in front of a mirror, or have someone you trust observe. Start “normalizing” breastfeeding at home, with visitors, sometimes our worry can be for nothing, you may just be surprised by the reaction of others. What may feel like you exposing your body to the world, might not even be visible to others.
  2. Plan ahead. Going to the store? The mall? Start by going somewhere you know has breastfeeding accommodations, where you know moms and babies will be. You will be surprised at how many public places have great breastfeeding spaces and will have these listed online. I came across this cool app that can help you search for a private place to breastfeed: Mom’s Pump Here.
  3. Invest in a good nursing bra, not only is this important for comfort and supports good breast health, but there is nothing worse than having to fumble when settling down to feed your baby!
  4. Wear layers, a stretchy tank can be versatile, an oversized t-shirt or button down, this can act as a cover or blanket. I like those large pashmina/ scarves as a way to conceal. Not only look fabulous they are a great way of screening the baby if you are worried about some skin showing.
  5. Choose a comfortable location. A good place to start, if weather permits, is a quiet area in the park, a park bench or a shady spot under a tree, It would look nothing more than a mama snuggling with her baby to potential onlookers.
  6. Watch your baby’s cues, this advice is not only for the early days in the hospital, but it is worth remembering when you are out and about with your baby. Consider: A crying baby who is hungry and frantic could draw attention and add to your anxiety. A calm baby will more than likely latch quickly and successfully.
  7. If, on the off chance you encounter negative comments, think of a response that is both firm and polite. No need to apologize, you are doing nothing wrong. A kind smile often is all you need to deter onlookers.



The more we can normalize breastfeeding, the more it will be accepted as part of our culture for feeding and nurturing our children.

"A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three". ~Grantly Dick-Read


2014: A Year in Review

What a year! You've heard that before, right, but it's true. 2014, just like the previous year was a record breaking year for The Milk Bank. Some exciting things happened in 2014. Here are some of the highlights:


  • Milk Bank & Blood Bank PartnerWe added Milk Depot locations throughout Indiana, thanks to a partnership with Indiana Blood Center. Donors in cities like Fishers, Carmel and Terre Haute now have a convenient place to drop off milk donations and get their blood drawn to complete their donor approval.


  • We added our first Milk Depot in a Health Department last year. Champagne-Urbana Public Health District joined our volunteer Milk Depot, making the donation process that much easier for Central Illinois Milk Donors.


  • onemillionouncesWe dispensed our ONE MILLIONTH ounce of Pasteurized Donor Human Milk. That means, since 2005, we have provided over 3 million feedings to premature and ill infants throughout the Midwest.


  • We approved 711 Milk Donors.


  • We received 36% more milk in 2014 than 2013.


  • We dispensed 39% more PDHM in 2014 than 2013.
  • Oh, and we changed our name.

New Name. Same Organization. {}





Our team worked really hard this year but we couldn’t have done any of these things without our generous Milk and Financial Donors, and passionate advocates.

Cheers to you for all the ways you have help us grow this year!


Hawkins Blog Bio

Donor profile: Kaleigh

baby-home2How did you hear about donating your excess breast milk?I had a friend who donated and encouraged her friends to donate!


What happened that made you realize you had enough breast milk to share with babies in need? I was very frustrated the first week of pumping because I was barely keeping up with my son's needs. My son couldn't nurse and had to be tube fed (this didn't help my frustration). After the first week, I started producing over 50 ounces a day...can you say "milk mama!"


Was there anything unique about your pumping routine? I must admit that I broke the rules of pumping. I didn't pump every couple of hours. My schedule of pumping was consistent and I only pumped 3 times a day because living in the hospital and meeting with doctors consumed my time. I'm now going on 13 months of pumping and have never experienced a dip in supply.


Was your employer/spouse supportive of you pumping/ donating? My sweet husband was very supportive of my pumping and donations. He always dropped my milk off to The Milk Bank. Poor guy had his picture taken a few times during drop off :)


Would you donate again? Most definitely! This year has been one heck of a ride with my son's surgeries and too many hospital stays, but pumping brought some sense of relief and relaxation.



Are you a milk donor or recipient who would like to share your story? We would love to hear from you. Contact us!

Recap: HMBANA '14

Recap: HMBANA '14

The Fifth International Congress on Donor Human Milk Banking

By: Janice O'Rourke, Executive Director, IMMB

As a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, a few IMMB staff members were able to spend an energizing few days with like minded, passionate advocates of Donor Milk at The Fifth International Congress on Donor Human Milk Banking (#HMBANA14). We thought our readers would enjoy hearing some of the highlights from the conference that featured speakers from not only America but also Cananda, Sweden and Great Britain. Topics included: Promoting Breastfeeding despite using Donor Milk. A Family Center approach, Some of our best friends are Germs. The human Microbiome, and Human Milk after the 1st Year. Why bother?

Here are a few highlights from our trip- besides BEAUTIFUL Vancouver Island!

  • Jodine Chase from @HumanMilkNews complimented our social media efforts.
  • We were acknowledged by Elizabeth Brooks ,The IBCLC/Attorney for our efforts of introducing the use of PDHM beyond 1 yr. 
  • The Bloomington Area Birth Services was recognized in one of Elizabeth Brooks presentations as this is one of our depots.
  • The excitement and energy that surrounds milk banking as a hot topic right now, this was referenced on several occasions by speakers!
In all, HMBANA 14 was an excellent conference! Many Thanks to the hard working HMBANA Board of Directors for all your work!



Milk Banking. My Introduction.

My Introduction to Milk Banking

by Amber McCann, IBCLC

As a very young International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), I encountered a family with a very ill child. They contacted me to see if I might help them locate some breastmilk, which they believed could radically impact their child's health. As I began my search, I learned, for the first time about donor milk and HMBANA milk banks. In addition, I was introduced to the world of mother-to-mother milk sharing. I came away from the experience completely overcome with the deeply held belief that all babies, even babies whose families were not able to provide human milk, should have the right to access their biologically normal food.

As a part of my journey, I began to connect with the Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank on Facebook and Twitter. I consistently found them to be my "go to" milk bank when I had questions about how to connect families who either were in need of donor milk or who wanted to become donors. So, when the stars aligned for me to take a visit to Indianapolis to speak at the Midwest Lactation Conference , I quickly reached out to see if I might be able to come tour the facility and gain a stronger understanding about how the whole breastfeeding community, and especially IBCLCs, could increase donations to HMBANA milk banks.

I was welcomed with open arms and what I learned greatly expanded my understanding of what goes into the donor milk process. I was moved by the wall of acknowledgement of the bereaved families who have given in their days of grief. I wanted to jump up and down and cheer loudly when I saw the freezers FULL of milk donations...the oxytocin was flowing.

I cried tears of gratitude when, in the room where the milk is processed, Carissa Hawkins, IMMB Communication Coordinator said to me, "It smells like love in here."

Donor milk radically changes the path so many families are on. I’m proud to work with families who reap its benefits and I’m crazy excited that in Pittsburgh, where I live, the Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank is in development. Soon, families in my hometown will cheer right along side me as we say “Donor Milk Saves Lives!”





Welcome to Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank

Welcome to the Milk Bank!

Ever wonder where your milk goes? Or who you're speaking with when you call?

Here's a look into IMMB!

IMMB Front Door
Front Desk
Bereavement Tree

Most of our donated Milk is shipped directly to us.

Human Milk Donations

Sometimes we visit a Mom's house to pickup her Milk.

Freezer full

We inventory the milk once it arrives and store it in our freezers until we are ready to use it.

Freezer Full

Ready, Set, PASTEURIZE! Milk thaws for a few hours before being poured into beakers.

Milk Defrosting
Flasking Milk
Milk Thawing

After thawing, the milk is homogenized, bottled then sealed.

Pasteurized Donor Human Milk
Steerifeed Pasteurizers

After Pasteurization, the milk is labeled and a sample is sent to the lab to test for sterility. Once the results come back from the lab, we are able to approve a batch of Pasteurized Donor Human Milk for use.

PDHM Ready to be sent to Hospitals

IMMB Staff

Janice O'Rourke
Rachel Pritz
Breanna Jenson
Terry Jo Curtis
Erin Connor
Mable Clayburn
Carissa Hawkins
Janice Bussell

 Thanks for stopping by!