Donate Milk

How do I register as a milk donor?

  1. Complete the online Become a Donor form (contact us if you would rather do this over the phone)
  2. A member of Milk Bank team will contact you to discuss becoming a milk donor and answer any questions you may have
  3. You will then be sent a more detailed Donor Record Form by email to complete and return
  4. When your Donor Record Form is received, we will send you a donor box containing everything you need to donate milk
    1. Supply of presterilised bottles (130ml)
    2. Marker pen to write your name on the lid of the bottle (so that we can recycle the bottle itself)
    3. Temperature sheet to log your freezer temperature daily
    4. Becoming a Donor leaflet
    5. Blood postage box and letter for GP to enable you to have blood samples taken, usually around the time you make your first donation. All donors are tested for HIV 1-2, HTLV 1-2, Hepatitis and Syphillis, you will be informed of your results with 2 weeks
    6. Ice pack and biker box seals for your first milk collection
    7. Thermometer and / or microwave Sterisacs (if requested)
  5. You can start to express and store milk straight away, you do not need to wait for your blood test results

You can donate if

  • Your baby is less than 6 months old at the time you register as a donor (please note we ask donors to stop donating at 9 months)
  • You live in an area close to the milk bank or one of our depots – please contact us for more information
  • You are and remain in good health
  • You are able to commit to a minimum donation of 2 litres
  • You drink no more than 1-2 units of alcohol once or twice a week
  • Your caffeine intake is less than 200mg per day

You cannot donate if

  • Any member of your household smokes
  • You use any type of nicotine replacement therapy including patches, chewing gum or inhalators (vaping)
  • You take certain medication (acceptable replacement drugs include Thyroxine, Insulin, Ventolin and Mini Pill (Progesterone only)) Please contact us for more information
  • You have had a vaccine to prevent you contracting yellow fever in the last six months
  • You have recently returned from an area of the world where certain infectious diseases are present (according to national guidance)

 Before expressing your milk

  • Please ensure  you have cleaned your breast pump in accordance with the guidelines we have emailed to you
  • Please wash your hands carefully following our hand washing guidelines

Expressing your milk

  • You can start expressing as soon as you have registered as a donor (you do not need to wait for blood test results)
  • Regular expressing ensures a good milk supply
  • Vary times of milk expression during 24 hours so the milk has a good nutrient balance
  • Stop expressing if you become unwell or develop any infections (including thrush or mastitis). Please inform the milk bank who will be able to advise how long before you can start expressing again
  • It is very important to inform us of any changes to medication, some medication may be safe when breastfeeding your own baby however you may need to stop expressing for the milk bank
  • Do not overfill bottles, please leave about 2cm gap at the top to allow for expansion

Storing your milk

  • Ensure you identify all bottles with your name and date of expression using the marker pen provided
  • Freeze milk immediately after expression
  • If possible, please dedicate freezer space for 20-30 bottles away from other foodstuffs in your freezer
  • Please check the temperature of your freezer every day and record it on the temperature sheets provided

Collecting your milk

  • When we have agreed a collection day we will give you an estimated collection time
  • Please let us know if anyone in your household has tested positive for or has any symptoms of Covid 19 and we will postpone the collection
  • If there is any reason you wish to cancel the arranged collection please inform us as soon as possible to avoid any wasted journeys

Thank you for your support – here’s a few words from a family that benefitted from donor milk

‘When my son was born in December 2013 he was reluctant to feed, choosing to sleep rather than latch. I’d tried everything and was ready to admit defeat and end our breastfeeding journey before it had really begun. The wonderful team at the hospital were so supportive and suggested we try some donated milk. I’d never even heard of milk donation but the team explained everything thoroughly and answered all of my questions. The donated milk was an absolute game changer from that very first feed and my son soon realised how good it felt to have a full tummy. We went to breast feed for over 18months and I honestly can’t tell you how grateful I am to the mummy who donated her milk to help us through those early days.’