There are many reasons why a family may directly order donor milk.
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 that 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 as mothers work on establishing their milk supplies or work through latching issues. The use of donor milk to bridge the gap as these issues resolve may be a helpful tool to get breastfeeding on track.
Ordering outpatient milk for your child
- Contact your child’s healthcare provider. The healthcare provider will need to submit a prescription for donor milk. Download our healthcare provider packet. If donor milk is medically necessary, the prescribing healthcare provider will need to contact your insurance plan to initiate preauthorization prior to your order.
- Complete the recipient registration packet. Forms may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 412-281-4236, or mailed/dropped off to: Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank, 3127 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15201.
- Arrange for pickup or shipping. We ship frozen donor milk overnight by FedEx for arrival in the mid to late morning. We typically ship milk Monday through Thursday for next day arrival. Local pickups are available Monday through Friday during normal business hours of 8:30am – 3:30pm.
If you or your healthcare provider have any questions do not hesitate to contact Sara Vins Bobish, Business Manager, at 412-281-4400 ext. 111 or email@example.com.
Each hospital orders a supply of donor milk and distributes it according to evidence-based guidelines developed by the clinical team of each institution. These guidelines may be based on gestational age, weight, or other risk factors. Under the most common structure of inpatient insurance reimbursement, it is typically the hospital that pays the milk processing fee.
Sometimes a family whose infant does not meet the hospital’s criteria chooses to use donor milk. In these cases, the milk processing fee is paid for by the family. If you are interested in privately paying for inpatient donor milk, please consult with your child’s medical team. You may also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our organization relies on the generosity of our donors. In the event that there is a shortage of milk, distribution is prioritized by medical need. First priority is given to neonatal intensive care units and hospitals, then outpatients with medical needs, and finally bridge milk and discretionary use. Read our distribution policy.
Medical need vs discretionary use
Insurance is likely to 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 are also eligible for the income based sliding scale fee discount program. A baby may have a condition that is known to be improved by the use of donor milk or a baby may have a formula intolerance that is creating symptoms and suppressing adequate growth. Documented trials of formula, perhaps 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 him/her from tolerating formula. Examples of discretionary use include scenarios such as adoption, breast surgery, or low milk supply.