Questions About Donating Milk
Have questions about donating? We have answers! Please take a look at our most frequently asked questions below. If you have a question that’s not on our list, give us a call at 303-869-1888.
Yes! Mothers’ Milk Bank has donors from all over the United States. There are over 60 Donation and Outreach Centers affiliated with Mothers’ Milk Bank where you can drop off your milk, and they’ll take care of sending it to us. If none of these are convenient for you, then Mothers’ Milk Bank will send you an insulated box with prepaid overnight shipping labels, instructions, and ice packs so that you can ship the milk to us directly.
Yes! Mothers’ Milk Bank can take previously collected milk as long as it was collected less than eight to ten months ago and has been in the freezer the whole time. We would just need to go through the screening process with you to make sure you were following our medication restrictions and weren’t sick at any time while collecting the milk.
We do ask that our donors aim for a total overall donation of at least 150 ounces. This does not need to be donated all at once, though. A fully lactating person can donate until their child is 18 months old. As a non-profit organization, this goal helps us make sure we are spending our limited time and resources wisely.
Yes! Mothers’ Milk Bank processes non-dairy milk for babies with allergies and sensitivities and would love to be able classify your milk as such. In order to do so we would need the following information:
- The exact dates you started your non-dairy diet. We have a 14 day waiting period from when you removed dairy from your diet to when we can classify your milk as non-dairy. Please provide the date you removed dairy to the best of your knowledge.
- The types of dairy products you eliminated; we need to know if you continue to have any coffee creamers, baked goods with dairy, etc. Even if it is labeled as lactose free we cannot accept that product as non-dairy due to the proteins still being present.
About 90% of the milk is distributed to NICUs in hospitals all over the country for premature or ill babies to use. Mothers’ Milk Bank provides milk to over 120 hospitals. The rest of the milk is dispensed to families who have already been discharged, but still need some donor milk until the mothers’ own milk comes in.
Mothers’ Milk Bank does not charge for the donor milk itself, only for the expenses of processing the milk. Screening our donors and pasteurizing the milk can be costly, so we pass along part of the expenses of making sure the milk is safe. Babies are prioritized based on their medical condition, NOT their ability to pay. Because our program operates as a community service, when a medical need exists but there are no financial resources for reimbursing the tissue processing fees, special financial arrangements may be made. Mothers’ Milk Bank would never turn away a family that has a baby with a medical need for the milk, even if they cannot pay.
The short answer is no. But you will receive gratitude and the knowledge that you are helping babies in need. Mothers’ Milk Bank is a non-profit organization. We rely on the generosity of milk donors who produce milk in excess of their own babies’ needs. MMB does not pay or compensate milk donors. We do, however, provide milk storage bags and sanitizing steam bags so that a donor is not using her own supplies for milk that she is donating. We also cover the costs of any blood testing and if needed, the costs of shipping the milk to Mothers’ Milk Bank. We recognize that being a donor is a huge commitment, so we try to make it as easy and convenient as possible. We do our best to make sure donating your milk is no additional cost to you.
We hear this question a lot. While we would prefer that someone donate her milk, we definitely understand the benefits of being paid for your milk. It takes a lot of time and effort to collect enough milk to donate, so being reimbursed for that commitment seems like a great idea. We just encourage women to do their research and to understand exactly where their milk is going.
There are four different ways you can get your milk to us:
- Drop it off at a Donation & Outreach Center. They’ll keep it frozen until they have enough accumulated to send our way. Each Donation and Outreach Center has their own hours of operation, and some require you to call and make an appointment prior to dropping off your milk. If you have trouble arranging your drop-off with a Donation and Outreach Center, please call us at 303.869.1888 or toll-free at 833-234-0555.
- Ship your milk directly to us. MMB can send you an insulated box with prepaid overnight shipping labels, instructions, and ice packs. Once packed, you can drop off your milk at a FedEx location, or arrange to have them pick it up at your house. Please note: Mothers’ Milk Bank is only open Monday through Friday, so please DO NOT ship milk to us on Fridays or right before any major holiday.
- Arrange for a pick-up from your home. If you live locally in the Denver Metro area, we can pick up directly from your house. Please have at least 100 ounces collected if arranging a home pick-up. To schedule, give us a call at 303-869-1888 or toll-free at 833-234-0555.
- Drop it off! We love to put faces to our donors’ names! If you are in the area, please feel free to drop by during regular business hours (M-F 8:30am-5:00pm) to drop off your frozen milk. Even better, bring your kids so we can thank them for sharing their milk!
- If interested in taking a tour of Mothers’ Milk Bank when your drop off your milk, just call 303.869.1888 and let us know when you’re coming so we can be prepared.
- If you would prefer to just drive up, stay in your car, and have a staff member come get your milk, just call us at 303.869.1888 when you are about ten minutes away, and we’ll have someone come meet you.