Sometimes, premature babies, like those in EIRMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, depend on donated breast milk to thrive when their own mom’s milk is not available. EIRMC is now helping that process along by being the region’s only donation center for new mom’s to drop off their extra/unused breast milk.
If you have saved breast milk, or are currently breastfeeding, please consider donating at the Breast Milk Donation Center at EIRMC.
Can I donate milk?
Taking care of your baby is your first priority. Once you’ve established your milk supply and your own baby’s needs, becoming a donor might be an option for you. Use these simple guidelines to determine whether you can donate milk:
You are likely to qualify as a donor if:
- You are in generally good health
- You are a non-smoker
- You are taking no medications on a regular basis
How do I become a donor?
- Call one of EIRMC’s Certified Lactation Consultants at (208) 529-7171 to refer you to the milk bank.
- The Mother’s Milk Bank of Denver will do a short phone pre-screening.
- You will be sent a comprehensive kit for donating.
- Next, call (208) 529-7171 to set up a blood test at EIRMC, at no cost to you.
- Once you sign the donor consent form and your doctor signs the medical release form, you are ready to donate milk.
- You will be provided with containers to store your milk.
- Drop off your milk at EIRMC; that’s all there is to it.
Note: In most cases, we accept previously collected milk. Please call for more information.
What happens to your milk after you become a donor?
- Milk is received and stored in large freezers maintained at -20° C or colder.
- Milk is pooled together into large flasks, and then poured into sanitized glass bottled.
- The bottles are placed in a pasteurizer, brought to 62.5° C, and pasteurized for 30 minutes.
- The bottles are cooled immediately, labeled and placed in freezers.
- A small sample of the milk is analyzed to assess fats, proteins and lactose.
- A sample from each batch is sent to the lab to be tested for any bacterial growth.
- Once approved, the milk is sent coast to coast to babies in hospitals and homes.
Feeding preemies breast milk is the gold standard of care. Breast milk reduces digestive tract infections by 79% and many other infections as well. One ounce of your milk can feed a micro preemie for an entire day—literally saving their life.
Milk donation is a unique gift that only a mother can give. If you would like to become a donor, contact us at (208) 529-7171 to get started today.