A mother’s own breast milk is nearly always baby’s best first food; however, it is sometimes not available. In such cases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Surgeon General, the World Health Organization, and others, safely pasteurized donor human milk is the next best option.
Reasons to Receive Milk
Donor milk can be used as a temporary bridge until mother’s own milk comes in, or longer term as needed. Visit our Prescribing Donor Milk page to see some of the reasons a baby might need donor milk.
How to Order Milk
To order milk as an outpatient:
- Scan the QR code to reach the registration page. You only need to register once. You can also reach the registration at https://milkbankne.org/registration/.
- Follow the instructions to set up an account with the milk bank.
- Be sure to save the confirmation number you receive on the screen via email after you register.
- After completing the registration send an email to email@example.com with the following information.
- Phone number
- Number of bottles of milk you would like to order. (outpatients are limited to 10 bottles per week, if supplies are available). If you plan to order for more than one week (meaning you are ordering more than 10 bottles total), you will need a doctor’s prescription.
Inpatient babies who need donor milk can receive it in the hospital if they meet hospital guidelines. If your hospital doesn’t have a donor milk program, you may still be allowed to bring some in. Ask your lactation consultant, nurse, or doctor and contact us with questions.
Outpatient Donor Milk Dispensaries
Families who live near Northampton, MA; Glastonbury, CT; Lewiston, ME; Portland, ME; Belmont, NH; Lebanon, NH; or Essex Junction, VT may be able to pick up milk at one of our donor milk dispensaries. To learn more, visit our Donor Milk Dispensaries page.
Safe Milk Requires a Processing Fee
Using a HMBANA-certified milk bank like Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast is the best way to ensure that your donor milk is safely screened, processed and distributed. There is a charge for pasteurized donor human milk because of the process that makes it safe—thorough screening of donors, testing, pasteurizing, and careful shipping.
If your baby has a prescription for donor milk and you are facing financial difficulties, you may qualify for our GIFT Program. Read more about the program here.
If your baby is already home, then you must purchase the milk yourself. Although it is rare, health insurance occasionally covers some or all of the cost, so we encourage you to call your company to request coverage. For military families, TRICARE covers donor milk from HMBANA milk banks for certain conditions, when prescribed by a TRICARE-authorized provider. Currently Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Utah, Illinois, Oregon, Louisiana, Kentucky and Washington, DC have Medicaid and/or insurance mandates or coverage provisions. Advocacy for coverage in other states is ongoing.
To order donor milk for a hospital, see our resources for medical professionals.
Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast: Safe. Trusted. Lifesaving.