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You Can’t Mimic the Magic of a Mothers’ Milk
The Milk Bank has the unique ability to provide families in our communities with a readily available source of pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM).
Quick access to PDHM allows parents of healthy newborns to supplement with human milk instead of formula, providing babies with a healthy start and parents with peace of mind. The Milk Bank is available to help bridge the gap between leaving the hospital and a successful breastfeeding routine.
Why am I being charged for donated breast milk?
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, The Milk Bank has the unique ability to provide access to safe donor milk for babies in need.
The costs associated with receiving donor milk from our organization covers the costs of the pasteurization process, which is critical to the safety of the most fragile babies. The Milk Bank does not make any profits from the proceeds of our donated milk.
Our mission at The Milk Bank is to ensure that babies have the safest access to human milk, and our pasteurization eliminates the possibility of bacterial and viral contamination that may be present in human breast milk.
All donated milk will go through this pasteurization process once it’s been received at our facility. Keep reading to learn more about our safety standards that we stand by.
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.
Milk Donors are rigorously screened, healthy lactating mothers who have delivered a baby within the last 24 months.
Milk Recipient FAQ
Whether you’re bridging a small gap or need ongoing help – get started by checking out our recipient intake form. If you are accessing 40 ounces or less, you won’t need a prescription & can typically handle the entire process online.
If you need more than 40 ounces or are interested in our sliding-scale Medical Relief Fund, a follow-up call from our team will help guide you through the remaining steps!
Donor milk for outpatient families goes through the same important safety measures as milk used for the most fragile NICU babies! Hospitals pay the processing fee to offset these costs.
It’s an honor to also serve babies at home, but this processing fee can be a barrier. Thanks to financial support from the community, we have a sliding-scale Medical Relief Fund for families who need milk for medical reasons.
Most families can access milk in less than 24 hours! If you need more than 40 ounces or would like financial support from our Medical Relief Fund, you can help streamline the process by requesting a prescription for donor milk from baby’s physician.
There are more than a dozen convenient pick-up locations in the community called Milk Express. To pick-up at one of these sites, you’ll select it at check out.
Not near a Milk Express site? No worries, we can also ship milk directly to your home. We pass along the discounted rate we receive from UPS.
Several states, as well as Tricare insurance for military families, offer reimbursement of donor milk in some situations. The Milk Bank cannot file insurance claims on your behalf, but we can provide the information you need to request reimbursement if you think you might be covered.
Why use donor milk?
Healthy babies aren’t the only ones that benefit. Pasteurized Donor Human Milk (PDHM) has been scientifically proven to benefit babies with any of the following issues, among a host of others.
- 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
- Absent or insufficient lactation
- Illness requiring temporary interruption of breastfeeding
- Treatment for infectious diseases
- Immunodeficiency disorders
- Non-infectious intestinal disorders