mid-atlantic mothers' milk bank

Get ready, donors!

(September 1, 2015)

Enough funding to get started? Check.

Have a space? Check.

Equipment ordered? Check.

What’s missing? YOU.

Yes, finally the time has come to talk about donating breast milk. You see, donors are the superstars of the milk bank. And obviously, without donors, there’d be no milk bank. Our goal is to screen donors and accept milk as soon as we possibly can. After all, there are babies in NICUs waiting.

Just like a due date, our opening date is merely a best guess. Construction has started on the space and our equipment has been ordered. We are waiting for our pasteurizer units which are scheduled to arrive in this month from the UK. So our goal is to begin screening this month, too.

Who are milk donors? They are healthy, lactating mothers who are willing to donate their excess milk. Some donors have a freezer full already. Others plan to start pumping for us. Interested?  Contact us (info@threeriversmilkbank.org) and we will put you on our list. Those on the list will be the first mothers to be called for screening.

Here’s some background to help you prepare for donation:

  • The process involves a 20 min interview (over the phone or in person), filling out an application packet, signing releases so we can obtain statements of health from the health care providers of both you and your baby, and a blood test.
  • We require 150 ounces over the course of 6 months (this minimum is waived for bereaved mothers). Your baby’s needs always come first.
  • Donors are not paid. This is a mandate of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Payment introduces significant ethical and safety concerns. All screening and shipping costs are paid for by us.
  • From now on, we would like you to follow the pumping hygiene and storage practices found in this video from Ontario’s milk bank.  Don’t worry, they are just some simple common sense practices.
  • We will accept milk that is up to thee months old if it is in a combination refrigerator/freezer and milk that is up to nine months old if it is stored in a dedicated freezer (like a chest or upright freezer).
  • You cannot be taking any prescription or herbal galactogogues (medications that increase milk supply) including fenugreek and herbal teas. There is a 72 hour waiting period for galactogogues of any type.
  • Certain prescription and over the counter medications are acceptable.
  • You cannot use tobacco or nicotine products of any kind.
  • Milk cannot be accepted during the eight days following a donor’s or donor’s partner’s receipt of a tattoo administered in a regulated site using sterile single use needles and single use only dyes.

If you would like to become a donor please contact us via email at donate@threeriversmilkbank.org.  It would be helpful to include what area you live in and how many ounces you have in your freezer currently. If you have any questions regarding your potential eligibility (such as a medication question) please email us.

We look forward to hearing from you! And so do the babies in local NICUs.