Meet the Milk Bank
The Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast was founded in 2006 by a small group of nurses, mothers, and lactation consultants. Since then, we have grown to include physicians, researchers, city planners, doulas, midwives and many others who work together to make Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast a reality. In 2010 we completed work on our milk-processing lab. In the spring of 2011, we began screening donors and we were certified by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America in July, 2011. In August, 2011, we began pasteurizing our own milk. On June 28, 2013 we moved to our beautiful new location in Newton Upper Falls, MA.
The MMBNE is a member of HMBANA – The Human Milk Banking Association of North America. HMBANA is the professional organization representing non-profit donor human milk banks in the United States, Canada and Mexico and is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of health care providers that promotes, protects, and supports donor milk banking. HMBANA is the only professional membership association for milk banks in North America and as such sets the standards and guidelines for donor milk banking for those areas. It was founded in 1985 and currently has 18 member banks.
A Brief History of Milk Banking
Throughout history, mothers have helped each other by nursing each others’ babies, and it was once common practice for wealthy families to hire a wet nurse for their babies. The first milk bank opened in Vienna, Austria in 1909. The first milk bank in the United States opened at the Boston Floating Children’s Hospital (now part of Tufts-New England Medical Center) in 1911.
There have been numerous milk banks in hospitals and other medical centers throughout New England since that time. The most recent milk bank, located at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, was opened in 1975 and closed in 2001. Since then there has not been a milk bank in the Northeast region until we opened our doors for intake and processing in 2011.