“Growing evidence supports the role of donated human milk in assisting infants with special needs, such as infants in newborn intensive care units who are unable to receive their own mothers’ milk, to achieve the best possible health outcome.” – The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding
What is Milk Banking?
Similar to blood banking, milk banking is the acceptance, pasteurization and dispensing of human milk donated from mothers who under go a multi-step screening process. Donor milk banks follow strict screening, processing, and testing guidelines to ensure that banked human milk is safe. Donor milk is often provided and prescribed for premature or sick babies who are more at risk for infections if they receive formula, instead of human milk.
To learn more about how milk banking works, click here.
For a detailed history of milk banking from HMBANA, click here.
Supporting Milk Banking:
Released on January 20, 2011 by U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin. Action 12 of the Call to Action states, “Identify and address obstacles to greater availability of safe banked donor milk for fragile infants.”
USBC Position Statement: Safe Use of Donor Human Milk (2008)
Position Statements: HMBANA Position Paper on Donor Milk Banking and Donor Human Milk: Ensuring Safety and Ethical Allocation
Visit these links for more information on Milk Banking, Sharing and Donating:
Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)- A non-profit association of donor human milk banks which sets standards for operation of milk banks in North America.
HMBANA Milk Bank Locations- Find HMBANA milk banks located in North America.
Milk Matters- Milk Matters is a Cape Town based charity organization that collects and supplies breastmilk to babies deprived of their mothers’ milk.
Mothers’ Milk Bank of Mississippi – Mississippi’s only medically-supported and professionally staffed milk bank.
The National Milk Bank – A nationwide organization that collects human milk.
International Milk Banking Initiative- a group of milk banks and health care providers interested in establishing an international association of non-profit milk banks globally through the development of better communication.
East on Feets: Eats On Feets facilitates a world-wide network of parents and professionals who have made the informed choice to share or support the sharing of breastmilk.
Donating Milk (HMBANA): The Human Milk Banking Association of North America provides information on how to share your milk through a non-profit milk bank.