Milk Banks

So what is a Milk Bank?

Human milkbanking is a service which collects, screens, processes and dispenses human milk donated by nursing mothers. Because the milk is dispensed to recipients, who are not related to the donor, every precaution is taken to provide a safe product.

  • Donor mothers undergo health and lifestyle screening, also blood tests for HIV, Hep B&C, Syphilis and HTLV
  • Milk is expressed hygienically in the donor’s home, frozen and collected regularly by milkbank staff
  • Milk is defrosted, pooled and bottled using tamperproof lids. NO mixed pooling between mothers
  • Milk is tested. Bottles with bacteria above recommended safe levels are discarded
  • Milk is heat treated to 62.5oC for 30 mins to ensure a completely safe product
  • Following pasteurisation, milk is refrozen (shelf life 3 months) Trackback labels ensure all milk can be traced and recorded.

“Where it is not possible for the biological mother to breast feed, the first alternative, if available should be the use of human breast milk from other sources.

Human milkbanks should be made available in appropriate situations”

(statement WHO/UNICEF)