Breastmilk Donation Questions and Answers
Q. How do I become a donor to the Mothers’ Milk Bank?
Donors are critical to the success of the Mothers’ Milk Bank. Without donors to provide a safe and continuous supply of milk, infants and children who need processed human milk would be deprived of this valuable resource.
Interested donors are required to complete a preliminary screening process as well as a routine blood test in advance of donating. Once cleared, donors may choose to express and freeze the milk for a period of several weeks in order to donate a sufficient quantity of milk. If a mother has stored frozen expressed milk that is less than 5 months old in the freezer, she can still donate that milk as long as the milk has been kept frozen.
Donor Screening Procedures:
1. Once you meet the qualifications of the preliminary donor screening process, you will provide a brief medical history review, either in person or via phone with the Milk Bank (408) 998-4550.
2. The next step is to complete the donor information forms, consent forms, and physician approval forms.
3. Last, you must consent to a blood test. Donors are tested serologically every six months. The Mothers’ Milk Bank covers the cost of the serological screening.
How does a volunteer donor ship milk to the Mothers’ Milk Bank?
MMB will ship coolers and airbills to the donor’s residence when milk is ready to transport. Instructions on shipping and packing frozen milk will be included in the cooler and accepted Mon-Fri only.
The frozen milk must not be older than 4 months in a regular home freezer or 6 months in a deep freeze.
Do you pasteurize the milk?
Yes. The milk is frozen after the pasteurization procedure. All donors are blood tested and the milk is tested for bacterial counts.
How do I order processed milk?
The Mothers’ Milk Bank provides milk to patients who have a physician’s prescription (MD or DO). A physician’s prescription can be mailed or faxed to the Mothers’ Milk Bank at (408) 297-9208. Information such as name, phone number and address must accompany the prescription. Once we receive the prescription, it takes two working days for shipping and handling. The prescription must indicate how many ounces of processed milk per day, and for how many weeks or months. Please take into consideration that our sick and premature infants are our main priority.
How is banked milk shipped?
The Mothers’ Milk Bank uses priority overnight shipment. There will be a charge for the shipping and handling. The charge for shipping depends on the area shipped to and the weight of the package.
How do I use donor milk once I get it?
All the donor human milk supplied to you has been pasteurized or heat treated and then frozen. Place all the donor human milk in the freezer for further storage.
Donor human milk can be thawed quickly in a container of warm water (not to exceed 37°C/98°F). The water must cover the level of the donor human milk but not touch the lid. Do not microwave any human milk.
What is the cost of processed milk?
There is a processing fee of $3.00 per ounce. There may also be shipping charges involved.
Does insurance cover the cost of banked milk?
Most insurance companies will cover the cost of banked milk if it is medically necessary. To find out if your insurance will cover the cost of the milk, call your provider.