How can I help?

Mothers who produce more milk than their own babies need are in a unique position to help save the lives of vulnerable small babies. There is often a shortage of donated milk around the country, so more donor mothers are always needed. If you can help, we need you.

Why is donor milk healthy for babies?

Breast milk is the natural food for human babies. Preemies or sick babies may grow and develop better by drinking breast milk compared to artificial milk or formula.

Some reasons a baby might need donor milk include:

  • prematurity;
  • problems or difficulties with feeding;
  • immune problems;
  • hypoglycemia or jaundice, gut priming, or trophic feeds;
  • allergy prevention; or
  • metabolic disorders.

Many moms who have premature and/or sick babies have other health reasons that make it difficult or impossible to produce enough milk to feed their own baby. Donated milk is a gift of nourishment and health for babies in need.

How do I donate breast milk?

If you are a nursing mother and would like to become a breast milk donor, we will screen you for good general health and make sure you don’t have certain infectious diseases.

In general, nursing mothers must meet the requirements below in order to be accepted as a breast milk donor:

  • be in good health;
  • be a non-smoker;
  • have negative blood test for viruses;
  • not use regular medications when donating breast milk, except for:
    vitamins and minerals, food supplements, progestin-only birth control, or replacement hormones like thyroid and insulin;
  • drink limited—or no—caffeine and alcohol;
  • be willing to donate at least 150 ounces during the total time she is a donor; and
  • have a medical release form that’s signed by both the mother’s and baby’s doctors.
What happens to donor milk?

The Mountain West Mothers' Milk Bank pasteurizes our donor milk. Milk is pooled and pasteurized before being packaged and distributed throughout the region to babies in need.

Who receives donor milk?

Mountain West Mothers' Milk Bank distributes donated milk to babies in NICUs throughout Utah and Idaho.

*The Mountain West Mothers' Milk Bank is member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, a non-profit organization of human milk banks dedicated to establishing and setting the standards for human milk donation.

Why a milk bank?

Milk banks screen donors and pasteurize and test donated milk. They also work to increase breastfeeding rates, to increase the supply of donor human milk, and as non-profit businesses, to keep costs as low as possible. Unlike for-profit milk banks, only the mothers and infants benefit.

The Mountain West Mothers’ Milk Bank is a member of the Human Milk Bank Association of North America. As such, we are a true non-profit organization, and we are achieving these goals right here in our communities. We are lucky to have so many women here who are willing to donate human milk. It is not easy. But they each know they are making a difference for many mothers and infants.

Have a question that’s not on this page? Contact us here.