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Donating Milk and Donor Milk Depots

Why donate to a non-profit milk bank?

Why can’t I share with other mothers or donate to a forprofit organization?

You have many choices when you decide to donate milk. Most new mothers are not aware of the dangers of casual informal milk sharing. It can be very unsafe and you assume all legal risks if the receiving infant becomes ill. In the case of for-profit milk banks, companies are actually making money from the sale of your donated milk. Donors to a non-profit milk bank find comfort and pride in knowing that they are providing life-saving milk to babies in need.

Can I donate milk?

Taking care of your baby is your first priority. Once you’ve established your milk supply and your own baby’s needs are met, donating your extra milk would be a wonderful life-saving gift to a sick baby. Use these simple guidelines to determine whether you can donate milk.

You are likely to qualify as a donor if:

  • You are in generally good health.
  • You are a non-smoker.
  • You are not taking medications on a regular basis.

What is the process for donating milk?

  1. Call the Mother’s Milk Bank of Florida at 407-248-5050.
  2. Complete a short phone pre-screening.
  3. Fill out the comprehensive screening form.
  4. Have your blood drawn for testing. The cost of all the testing is covered by the milk bank.
  5. Sign the donor consent form. Have your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician sign the medical release forms.
  6. Drop off your milk at a Lee Health Milk Depot.
  7. That is all there is to it. There is no cost to you

What happens to your milk after you become a donor?

  1. Milk is received at the milk depot and then sent to the milk bank. Milk is stored in large freezers until ready for processing.
  2. Milk is pooled together into large flasks and poured into sanitized glass bottles.
  3. The milk is then pasteurized.
  4. A small sample of the milk is analyzed for nutritional content.
  5. A sample from each batch is sent to the lab to be tested for bacterial growth.
  6. Under the physician prescription, the milk is sent to babies in hospitals and homes.

Donor Milk and Babies in the NICU

Babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) depend on this life saving nourishment to thrive when their mother’s milk is not available. Donor milk is used by preemies and older babies who cannot tolerate formula, have a weakened immune system, or have special dietary needs. Donor milk greatly reduces the incidence of digestive tract infections and many other infections as well. One ounce of your milk can feed a tiny preemie for an entire day- literally saving their life.

Every drop of breast milk makes a difference in the long-term survival and outcome of a sick baby. Please consider donating your extra milk! Your breast milk can make a positive impact and benefit a baby for a lifetime.

Milk Depot Drop Off Locations

  • Donating Milk and Donor Milk Depots