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How Can I Donate Breast Milk to a Milk Bank?

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Updated February 12, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: How Can I Donate Breast Milk to a Milk Bank?
Answer:

If you have an overabundant milk supply, donating to a human milk bank is a great way to share your excess milk and help others. According to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), to be eligible to donate your breast milk, you must be healthy and willing to go through a screening process.

Qualifications of a Human Milk Donor:

  • You are currently producing breast milk.

  • Your doctor and your baby's doctor can verify that you and your baby are healthy.

  • You are willing to have blood work that shows that you are negative for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, and the Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV).

  • You do not have any infections and you are not at high risk for developing an infection.

  • You do not smoke.

  • You do not drink alcohol on a regular basis.

  • You do not use illegal drugs.

  • You are not currently taking any medications. There are a few exceptions to this so be sure to discuss any medications you may be taking with the milk bank you plan to donate to.

  • You agree to follow instructions for proper collection and storage of breast milk.

You Will Not Qualify If:

  • You drink alcohol regularly.

  • You smoke cigarettes.

  • You abuse illegal or prescription drugs.

  • You take medications regularly (with a few exceptions).

  • You take herbal supplements or mega doses of vitamins.

  • You have a history of chronic illness or infection.

  • You have had a blood transfusion within the last 4 months.
  • If you believe that you meet the qualifications listed above and you would like to donate your breast milk, contact a milk bank for further information. A list of human milk banks can be found on the HMBANA website.

    Sources:

    Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Donate Milk: https://www.hmbana.org/donate-milk.

    Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession Sixth Edition. Mosby. Philadelphia. 2005.

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