For families needing milk on an outpatient basis
There are many reasons why a family may order donor milk for outpatient use.
Babies with certain conditions, such as malabsorption disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, congenital heart disease, and allergies can greatly benefit from the nutritional and immunological support of donor milk. Occasionally, there are infants who are not thriving and growing adequately, even with a prescription formula. Donor milk can make a big difference for all of these babies.
Sometimes a small amount of supplementation is required for well babies in the first two weeks of life as mothers work on establishing their milk supplies or work through latching difficulties. We refer to this as “bridge milk” because it is bridging the gap as these issues resolve.
Donor milk processing fees ($4.50/oz) cover the costs of donor screening, milk testing, bottling, and pasteurization. Medically necessary donor milk may be covered by insurance.
Medical need vs discretionary use
Insurance may cover a documented medical need for donor milk. If insurance coverage is unavailable, families in our region with an infant with a documented medical need may also be eligible for the income based sliding scale discount program. A baby with a medical need for donor milk may have a condition that is known to be improved by the use of donor milk or a formula intolerance that is creating symptoms and not supporting adequate growth. Documented trials of formula, often including a specialty prescription only formula, may be required.
Discretionary use refers to the use of donor milk in situations where there is limited or no access to the mother’s own milk, but the infant has no medical issue that would prevent them from tolerating formula. Examples of discretionary use include scenarios such as adoption, breast surgery, or low milk supply.
Ordering outpatient donor milk for your child
For orders of bridge donor milk or discretionary use donor milk for no longer than two weeks to be picked up at the milk bank or a local dispensary, follow the instructions of our Donor Milk in You Neighborhood Program. Please contact the milk bank at 412-281-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for pickup before filling out the form.
For donor milk use exceeding two weeks or for donor milk to be covered by insurance follow these instructions:
1. Contact your child’s healthcare provider
It is important for your child’s healthcare provider to be aware of supplementation that your child receives. A prescription is required for more than (12) 100ml bottles of donor milk (total over a recipient’s lifetime, not per order). The prescription must be written by a licensed healthcare provider (doctor, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner) who is caring for your child.
If you are pursuing insurance coverage for donor milk, the prescribing healthcare provider must contact your child’s health insurance plan to request pre-authorization. Refer your child’s healthcare provider to our website or give them this Prescriber Info Sheet.
Please note: You do not need a prescription for small amounts of bridge milk. A prescription is only required for use beyond 40 ounces, total per recipient child, not per order.
2. Contact us
Complete our Outpatient Donor Milk Recipient Inquiry Form
or call us at 412-281-4400.
3. Complete the Recipient Family forms and make payment (if private pay)
A link to the appropriate forms will be sent to you after we have communicated with you and have learned of your child’s specific needs.
4. Arrange for pickup or shipping
Overnight shipping or pick up at our lab in Pittsburgh or a dispensary near you will be arranged.