The first and most important thing is to make sure that breast feeding your infant is established before you decide to donate any of your excess breast milk. If your baby is fully fed and you still have excess breast milk, we invite you to apply to donate your excess breast milk. You can donate newly expressed milk or previously collected frozen milk (up to 10 months from
1: MOM HAS EXCESS BREAST MILK
date of expression) as long as it is clearly marked with month, day and year and time of expression. You can expect the entire qualification process to take about 4-5 weeks. You will receive step-by-step information throughout the process so you know what to expect each step of the way.
2: ONLINE APPLICATION AND REVIEW
To be eligible to donate your excess breast milk, you must first complete an online application. The application includes a Consent (to donate) Agreement and a Medical History Survey with about 70 questions. The questions are very similar to questions you would answer prior to donating blood and should take about 20 minutes to complete. Once your application is processed, you will receive an email from the milk bank with detailed information on the next steps. You can typically expect to hear back within 5 business days of submitting your application.
3: MEDICAL CONFIRMATION FORMS
The breast milk you donate will be used to create nutritional formulations for critically-ill, premature infants. To ensure the quality of the product, we require that our donors have their medical provider and infant’s pediatrician sign a confirmation form ensuring that both mother and baby are healthy, and that it is okay for the mother to donate her excess breast milk.
4: BREAST MILK DONOR TESTING
If you are a new donor, we will send you a donor test kit that includes a thermometer to measure the temperature of the freezer (s) in which you plan to store your milk, as well as vials for collecting blood samples and a DNA collection swab. We will arrange for a blood screening test by a national laboratory (at no charge to you). You will also be asked to provide a cheek swab to create a DNA identity profile that will be used for matching the DNA in your breast milk to that profile. This is to ensure we only receive milk from donors who have been screened, and it is an important step for ensuring the safety of the milk that will be used to feed critically-ill, premature infants. If you are a returning donor, the donor requalification test kit will include vials for a new blood test and may include a thermometer (if you are returning with a new baby).
5: LABELING, FILLING, FREEZING AND PACKING BREAST MILK DONATIONS
Prolacta will provide you with breast milk storage bags and instructions on how to collect, label, and store breast milk for donation. Once you are qualified, you will receive detailed instructions for packing and shipping your breast milk to Prolacta.
6: MILK IS RECEIVED AT PROLACTA
See how your milk is received at Prolacta and prepared for use in making potentially life-saving human milk nutritional products for premature babies.