- Complete a 10 minute phone screening.
- Complete and return a packet with consents and a health history.
- Have a blood test done for free.
- When we receive your paperwork and lab results, one of our Donor Intake Coordinators will call you with your approval status and arrange for delivery of your milk at no cost to you.
If you are ready to provide some basic information during a phone screening, contact us at email@example.com or call 617-527-6263 ext. 3.
Please include the following information in your email: Your name, phone number, location, baby’s birth date, whether or not you have already collected any milk, a list of any medications or herbal supplements you are taking, and the best time to reach you.
Who is eligible
You are a good candidate if you’re a mother who is currently (or just recently) lactating and has surplus milk, and if you are:
- In good general health
- Willing to undergo a blood test (at the Milk Bank’s expense)
- Not regularly using medication or herbal supplements (with a few exceptions)
- Willing to donate a minimum of 150 ounces of milk over the course of the current lactation period
- Nursing an infant (bereaved or surrogate mothers are also eligible to donate)
- Able to arrange for transportation of your milk to a drop-off site, at our Newton location or in many cases to ship your milk to the Milk Bank. We provide shipping containers and a pre-paid FedEx return label with instructions.
Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast waives the minimum donation amount in the case of a bereaved family.
You are not eligible to donate milk if
- You have a positive blood test result for HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B or C, or Syphilis
- You or your sexual partner is at risk for HIV
- You use illegal drugs
- You smoke or use tobacco products
- You or your sexual partner has received a blood transfusion or blood products in the four months prior to collecting milk for donation
- You or your sexual partner has received an organ or tissue transplant in the last 12 months.
- You regularly have more than two alcoholic drinks per day
- Between 1980-1996 you were in the United Kingdom for more than 3 month or in Europe (including the United Kingdom) for 5 years or more between 1980 and the present
Getting the blood test
Your milk will be prescribed to preterm and critically ill babies. To provide the safest milk possible, we require all donor moms to complete a blood test to screen for harmful viruses.
The last step in the screening process is the blood testing. Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast covers the cost of these tests, done following completion of the initial phone screening and receipt of all paperwork. We will send you a blood kit with detailed instructions for you and the facility drawing the blood.
The blood kit will include detailed information for you and for the facility drawing the blood. Your kit will include a lab requisition from our medical director. Your own health care provider does not order these tests. You or your health care insurance are not charged for these tests. Once the blood is drawn, it is repackaged in the mailing box we provide and sent via overnight FedEx to the Rhode Island Blood Center for processing.
The lab will test for:
- HIV I & II
- RPR (syphilis)
- HTLV I & II (Human T-Lymphotrophic Virus)
- Hepatitis B (HbsAg)
- Hepatitis C (HCV)
The approval process
The screening process typically takes three to four weeks, depending on how quickly you return your paperwork and get your blood work done, and how soon we receive the completed health forms from your healthcare providers.
Once you become an approved milk donor, you’ll be ready to begin dropping off your milk at the Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast or at one of our collection sites, or shipping it to us at the Milk Bank.
More questions? See Milk Donor FAQs.