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You are here: Home » eGM Resources » Health News of the Day » Human Milk Banks

Human Milk Banks

Human Milk Banks

Across the country, more and more mothers are
turning to Milk Banks to help them provide their
babies with the best nutrition and immunologic
protection right from the start.

- Human Breast Milk




Gentle Expressions
Breast Pump


What is a Milk Bank?
A milk bank is a facility and service established for collecting, processing and distributing human milk to meet the medical needs of those who require human milk for nutrition and immunological development. Milk is frozen and pooled after thawing. It is then heat-treated to kill any bacteria or viruses and re-frozen. Milk is only given by prescription and is shipped frozen and overnight to hospitals and individuals' homes.

Who Uses a Milk Bank?
Many mothers are unable to provide their child with their own breast milk, but are interested in providing the benefits of human milk for the child's growth and development. Human breast milk provides optimal nutrition, eases digestion and provides immunological protection against many organisms and diseases. It can assist in the development of digestion, promote healing for infections and protect immature tissues (like those found in premature babies). A prescription is required to obtain human breast milk.

Common Reasons for Prescribing Donor Milk Include:

  • Prematurity
  • Allergies
  • Formula Intolerance
  • Immune Deficiencies
  • Infectious Diseases

How to become a Donor?
Lactating mothers who meet strict health guidelines are eligible to become a milk bank donor. Initially, the applicant is screened for health behaviors and communicable diseases. The milk bank donor must also be a non-smoker, not a regular consumer of any medication (including mega-vitamins) and not consume excluded medications or alcohol within the specifide exclusionary period.

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Human Milk Banking Association of North America
Human Milk Banking Association of North America

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