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Policy Change

Policy Change: Infectious Disease Blood Draws Required Every 6 Months

Safety is our number one priority at The Milk Bank.  With that in mind, we are changing our policy for infectious disease screening. The infectious diseases we test for, HIV, Hepatitis B&C, Syphilis, and HTLV, could be contracted without any apparent symptoms. Therefore, if donors choose to continue milk donation, our medical board recommends that we ask the donor to have the simple blood screening test repeated 6 months following their initial blood draw.

Current Milk Donors will be required to repeat infectious disease screening every 6 months.


What does this mean?

Active donors will be asked to have a repeat blood draw every 6 months until 24 months postpartum.


I am a one-time donor, what does that mean for me?

Nothing. You will still be required to be screened for infectious diseases by having a blood draw prior to becoming an Approved Donor, at the expense of The Milk Bank, but no further testing will be required.


I donated once when my baby was 3 months old and I am now done breastfeeding my 12-month-old and want to empty my freezer, Do I need to repeat the blood draw?

Yes, before we can accept your last donation, you will need to have your blood drawn again.


I plan to donate from the time my baby is born until 24 months postpartum, is it really necessary for me to have my blood drawn 3 or 4 times?

Yes. It will be necessary so that we can ensure the safest donor milk possible to those who need it most.


Why are making this change, it’s so inconvenient!

We know! Your time is valuable. You’re juggling baby, pumping, working and the last thing you need is another blood draw. We also know that you care about the life of a preemie you’ve never met and have chosen to donate your excess breastmilk to help. We hope you understand the necessity of ensuring the utmost safety for these fragile infants.


Where do I go to get my blood drawn?

We try to make the blood draw as convenient as possible for donors. Donors can use one of the following services for blood draws:

  1. Quest Diagnostics: You are welcome to visit locations closest to you, nationwide. We will mail you the required forms.
  2. Indiana Blood Center: You are welcome to visit any central Indiana Blood Center location. We will mail you the required forms.
  3. LABS Mail Kit: If a Quest or IBC location is not convenient for you, we will mail you a LABS Blood Draw Kit and ask that you take the kit to a health care provider or lab and ask that they draw your blood. We will reimburse any cost associated with the blood draw. The LABS kit will come with an overnight FedEx label. Please make sure you drop the kit in a FedEx Box the same day you have your blood drawn.


If you have a question that we have not addressed here, please email me at


Policy Change: Donors can Donate till 24 Months Postpartum.

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.