Collecting Your Milk

This photo was submitted from an extraordinarily creative donor!

This photo was submitted from an extraordinarily creative donor!

Pump and collect your milk

1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. 
Dry with a clean towel.

2. Express or pump your milk into a sterile container. 
We accept milk stored in any type of milk storage bags, but we encourage you to NOT OVERFILL any of the collection bags. The top limits are marked on all of the containers. Milk expands as it freezes and overfilled bags leak.

If you are collecting directly into the container you will use for freezing, open it and place the cap on the table facing up.

If you are pumping into another container, please leave the storage container closed until you are finished pumping and are ready to pour the milk into it. Do not touch the top lip of the container or the inside of the cap or container.

3. Write your Donor ID number or your last name, and pump date on each container. 
If you are donating milk collected before contacting us, please make sure your name or ID# is clearly marked either on each container of milk or on the outside of a bag that contains your containers of milk.

4. Refrigerate or freeze your milk within 30 minutes of pumping.

◦ You may refrigerate your milk for up to 24 hours before freezing if you think that you may need it for your own baby.

5. Clean your pump. You must wash and rinse the pump parts that touch your breast or milk one time per day, every day that you use it. If you pump two or more times per day, simply wash with hot soapy water then thoroughly rinse between sessions. Sterilize pump parts following manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.

When to contact us

  • If you, your baby, or any household member becomes ill.
  • If you are unsure about whether to save milk for donation.
  • If you occasionally take medication, call to find out how long to wait after taking it before saving for the milk bank or if it is one of our approved medications for donors.
  • If you have a yeast infection on your nipples, your baby has thrush, or you have a fever blister or a cold sore.
  • If there are any changes in your health, or the health of your baby or other members of your household (this applies to everything from the common cold to more serious illness).
  • If there are any changes in your health behaviors or risk factors for disease.

More tips

  • If you are temporarily not saving milk to donate, continue to pump. This keeps your milk supply even and your breasts comfortable.
  • If you drink alcohol, do not pump for the Milk Bank for at least 12 hours.
  • Do keep nursing your own baby.

More questions? See Milk Donor FAQs.