Donor Milk Programs

HMBANA Milk Depot

The Breastfeeding Center is a milk depot location for the Mother’s Milk Bank at Austin, who has been dispensing pasteurized human milk since 1999! They are a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), which accredits nonprofit milk banks across the US and Canada, and sets international guidelines for pasteurized donor human milk. HMBANA milk banks take large strides to ensure that their milk is safe, following strict screening, processing and dispensing guidelines that were developed in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Milk banks depend on “drop off” milk depots in order to meet the growing demand for donor human milk – and that’s where we come in! We serve as a controlled collection point where women can donate their breast milk for premature babies, and also a distribution point where families come pick up pasteurized and screened milk for their newborns. In just the first four months of 2019, we’ve collected over 42,000 ounces of breast milk, over double what we collected in 2015 alone! We are so proud to have such generous and benevolent donors who are instrumental in helping us provide donor milk to premature and ill infants across the country!

 

Questions For Donors: 

How do I become a donor?

You can either fill out MMBA’s Milk Donation Form on their website or call their Donor Mom Team at (512) 494-0800 or toll-free at 1-877-813-MILK (6455).

Once you call the process is pretty simple, and requires just four steps!

  1. Phone Screening (complete a 10- 15 minute phone call!)
  2. Paperwork (complete & return an informational packet)
  3. Blood Work (MMBA will pay for you!)
  4. Approval!

How long does the approval process take?

The approval process can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks, depending on how quickly your paperwork and blood work are completed and returned!

How do I know if I am eligible to donate?

Take a look at MMBA’s eligibility requirements to find out! As long as you are health and breastfeeding a baby who is less than one year old, you are already a step in the right direction! (Bereaved and surrogate mothers are also eligible to donate!)

Why should I donate?

As a nursing mom you already know how valuable every drop of breastmilk is for you baby! Unfortunately, more than half of mother’s who deliver prematurely are unable to provide their babies with breastmilk. Through this donor milk, preterm babies are still able to receive the benefits from breastmilk that help them grow and thrive! This milk is also essential for providing these fragile babies with the immunity to grow strong, and fights against potential health complications!

The donor milk that is sent back to us for distribution also aids in helping mothers in your local community who are either struggling with milk production or milk supply! It really does take a village, and by donating you can aid in helping your neighbors’ babies grow strong and healthy, like yours!

Questions for Recipients:

How thorough is the donor screening process?

MMBA donors are screened in a multi-step screening process, similar to what is used at blood banks! Potential milk donors provide complete medical and lifestyle histories and undergo blood tests for HIV, HTLV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C.

What is the milk bank pasteurization process? How can I ensure it is safe for my baby?

Considering a majority of donated milk is distributed to hospitals for premature and ill infants, HMBANA and MMBA use an evidence-based and clinically sound process to ensure the highest safety of donor human milk. They use standards that were developed in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Food and Drug Administration and blood and tissue industries, and these guidelines are constantly being updated to ensure the best standard of safety and care. Not only are donors thoroughly screened, but donated milk is tested for bacteria and nutrients, and pasteurized to kill any bacteria and viruses. This pasteurization process destroys only a small percentage of the milk’s beneficial properties, preserving 70% of the immune factors that help to protect babies from illnesses! Read more about the milk banking process here.

How do I receive donor milk?

In order to receive donor milk from our Center, you must have a doctor’s prescription! Otherwise, please call us at (202) 293-5182 to reserve milk prior to coming in. Donor milk is sold frozen in 3 oz. bottles.


 

For more information about the Mothers Milk Bank in Austin please visit their website at milkbank.org!

If you have questions on how to handle breast milk, refer to our Guidelines for Milk Handling.

Has your family benefited from donor milk, or are you a donor with a positive experience to share? Contact us at 202-293-5182, on our Facebook Page, or message us on Instagram (@breastfeedingcenter) so we can share your story!

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