How to Donate Milk
Steps to becoming a Milk Donor:
- 1. Assess your eligibility
- 2. Contact the Milk Bank if you are interested and eligible to donate by calling 416-586-4800 x 3053 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please leave a contact phone number that you can be reached at.
- 3. A staff member from the Milk Bank will contact you by phone to complete an initial screening interview
If the screening demonstrates that you are an eligible milk donor:
- 4. Complete the information package which includes personal information verification forms. You will receive this package through the mail.
- 5. Have your healthcare provider complete a medical form
- 6. Undergo a blood test. The Milk Bank will tell you what lab site is closest to your home.
- 7. Once the Milk Bank receives all of your information, you will receive a call from a Lactation Consultant with the results of your screening.
If you are accepted as a donor:
- 8. You will be provided with the information and materials required for you to send your milk to the bank (including bottles and shipping materials). You will be provided with the information and materials required for you to pump, store and package your milk to send to the Milk Bank. Collection containers for your pumped milk, shipping materials and shipping arrangements to The Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank will be provided free of charge. Please note: A breast pump will not be provided by the Milk Bank.
Pasteurized human milk is dispensed by prescription only and used only for pre-term or sick hospitalized babies. Once you are accepted as a donor, you will receive an information package outlining the precautions to be taken to ensure the safety and quality of your milk donation. It will include techniques for careful hand-washing, proper cleaning of breast pumps and correct storage and transport of your frozen breastmilk.
Some mothers have already pumped and frozen their breastmilk; others begin to collect milk after contacting the Milk Bank. Previously collected milk can be accepted if a mother passes the necessary screening (for example no medications taken during the time of milk collection), and the milk has been stored and frozen in appropriate breastmilk freezer bags or food grade bottles for an acceptable length of time.
Surplus breastmilk can be pumped after nursing your baby at one feeding per day, after several feedings per day, or by feeding your baby using one breast and pumping the other breast to donate. Individual strategies can be discussed with the Milk Bank Lactation Consultant that are unique to each mother/baby pair and are always based on the adequate growth of the mother’s own baby.