Why Donate Milk?
It’s a Shame to Throw Away Extra Milk
For mothers who find themselves with the problem of having a freezer overflowing with milk, please reflect on why it was so important to you do the work to pump to store that milk for your baby for all of the benefits of milk: nutrition, healing and immunologic benefits.
And then know that if you donated it, your milk would be doing the same thing for many other babies, too. So, please don’t throw it away. Consider donation.
Why is Donor Milk Needed?
Premature or ill infants are at a much higher risk for devastating infections if they are fed formula instead of human milk.
One in eight babies is born premature (March of Dimes Peristats, 2010). This statistic — combined with a belief that human milk is the optimal form of nutrition and immunologic protection for babies — is the reason for what we do. To say it best, human milk fights infection while providing ideal nutrition.
Mom’s own milk is always ideal for the baby. But when a mother is unable to provide any or all of the milk needed, human milk donations from generous mothers are the next best option.
Babies may receive pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) because of the following:
- Preterm birth
- Failure to thrive
- Malabsorption syndromes
- Feeding/formula intolerance
- Immunologic deficiencies
- Pre- or Post-operative nutrition
- Infectious diseases
Organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization agree! The Milk Bank (formerly the Indiana Mother’s 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 (PDHM).
Source: The Milk Bank.
Becoming a New Milk Donor
4 Steps to Donation:
Step 1: Complete a 10-15 minute phone screening with our Donor Mother Coordinator.
Step 2: Complete and return an informational packet, including signed forms from your Pediatrician and Obstetrician.
Step 3: The Milk Bank will arrange for you to get your blood drawn and cover all costs.
Step 4: When we receive your paperwork and lab results, the Clinical Coordinator at The Milk Bank will review the information and approve you for donation.
Who is Eligible?
You are a good candidate if you’re a mother who is currently (or just recently) lactating and has surplus milk, and if you are:
- In good general health
- Willing to undergo a blood test, at The Milk Bank’s expense.
- Not regularly using medication or herbal supplements, with a few exceptions.
- Willing to donate 100 ounces of milk by your baby’s 2nd Birthday
Answers to many other questions about eligibility available on The Milk Bank’s FAQ page.
To Get Started:
Contact the The Milk Bank at:
Phone: 317-536-1670 or toll-free at 877-829-7470.
Drop off days/times: Tue-Sat 9:30-5:30.
We prefer a phone call beforehand, but it’s not required.