Why Use Pasteurized Donor Human Milk?


The Milk Bank provides pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) by prescription or physician order to hospitals and outpatients throughout the United States. Premature and ill infants in hospital neonatal intensive care unites (NICUs) are our highest priority.


Uses Of Pasteurized Donor Human Milk


  • Prematurity
  • Infants susceptible to or recovering from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
  • Failure to thrive
  • Malabsorption syndromes
  • Short-gut syndrome
  • Trophic feeds/gut-priming
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Pre and post-operative nutrition
  • Adoption
  • Absent or insufficient lactation
  • Illness requiring temporary interruption of breastfeeding
  • Treatment for infectious diseases
  • Immunodeficiency disorders
  • Non-infectious intestinal disorders



Is Pasteurized Donor Human Milk Safe?

The Milk Bank follows strict screening, processing, and dispensing guidelines established by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) to ensure the safety of pasteurized donor human milk. These guidelines have been established with the advisement of the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, and the blood and tissue industries. Potential donors provide complete medical and lifestyle histories, and undergo blood tests similar to the screening process used at blood banks. Donated milk is pasteurized to kill any bacteria or viruses. Before the pasteurized milk is dispensed, bacteriological testing is done by an independent lab to ensure its safety.

Is Pasteurized Donor Human Milk Cost Effective?

One of the most common, and most devastating, illnesses premature or fragile infants can acquire is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). According to the Journal of Pediatrics, research shows that NEC- which pasteurized donor human milk can help prevent- will increase a baby’s length of stay in the NICU. This increased stay can result in over $100,000 in additional medical costs or lead to infant death. In addition, the use of PDHM instead of formula can help decrease the risk of a variety of complications such as sepsis, reduce length of stay in the NICU and overall health care expenditures. New research on additional uses of PDHM is emerging nationwide. We hope to be able to provide PDHM for any infant or child with medical necessity.


For some, mother’s milk is a gift like no other.