Become a Breast Milk Donor
Many mothers of premature babies struggle to produce breast milk at a time when their fragile babies need it the most. The large number of premature babies in hospitals increases the need for donated breast milk which contains all the nutrients that babies need to survive and thrive. Premature babies need 1 to 1.5 ounces per feeding.
If you or anyone you know is producing more milk that your/their baby needs, Eisner Health accepts milk from screened donors. Eisner Health ships all frozen milk to a milk bank in San Jose, CA. Since 2019, Eisner Health has received 13,870 ounces of donated breast milk. The donated breast milk received was sufficient to feed 1,734 babies with human milk for one entire day.
The Mothers’ Milk Bank provides processed donated breast milk to hospitals. Mothers’ Milk Bank distributed over 500,000 ounces of milk in 2015 to 114 hospitals, including those located in Washington, Arizona, Idaho, Connecticut, and Maryland.
“I became motivated to help at-risk, premature babies after a family relative had a premature baby. I feel that it is important to help families facing that situation. A mother’s breast milk saves lives because it has lots of nutrients and vitamins.” — Evelyn
“I enjoy donating my milk! It was the best thing I could have done. I cannot think of anything else to do with my extra milk. I donated with my first and second baby. When I learned that I needed to get screened again with the second baby, I felt reassured about the safety of donor milk for infants.” — Melinda
“I became interested in donating my breast milk after I learned Eisner Health was accepting milk donations.” — Karen
“Thank you for providing the space for donations. As a nurse and lactation consultant myself, I refer clients to the milk depot and wanted to experience first-hand becoming a donor. I am fortunate to be able to keep a milk supply and be able to share.” — Alejandra
Who can donate milk?
You can donate if you are:
• In good general health.
• Willing to undergo a blood test (at the milk bank’s expense).
• Not regularly using medication or herbal supplements.
• Willing to donate 100 ounces of milk initially and continue pumping to donate as you are able (minimum donations will be different if you are shipping milk).
• Nursing an infant who is less than one year of age (bereaved or surrogate mothers are also
eligible to donate).
• Able to arrange for transportation of your milk to Eisner Health – Breast Milk Depot LA for a drop-off site, or ship your milk to the milk bank (shipping covered).
• A breastfeeding mother.
You cannot donate if:
• You have a positive blood test result for HIV, HTLV, hepatitis B or C, or syphilis.
• You or your sexual partner is at risk for HIV.
• You use illegal drugs.
• You smoke or use tobacco products.
• You have received an organ or tissue transplant or a blood transfusion in the last six months.
• You consume alcohol on a daily basis.
• Between 1980 to 1996, you were in the United Kingdom for more than three months or in Europe for more than five years.
Steps to become a donor
A. Contact the Mothers’ Milk Bank of San Jose for a phone interview/introduction, (877) 375-6645.
The lactation specialist at Eisner Health can assist with the phone call, but anyone interested can call the milk bank directly.
B. Complete forms provided by the milk bank – Eisner Health lactation team can assist faxing the forms directly to the bank to facilitate the process.
C. A small blood test for screening will be arranged for you at a Quest laboratory. There is a Quest laboratory at Eisner Health, but you may go to a laboratory closer to your home.
D. Once the forms and lab are done and the San Jose bank has received the results, the donor is confirmed and breast milk can either be taken to Eisner Health – Breast Milk Depot LA or shipped for free to the milk bank directly.