“Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast has been so helpful. I could not have come this far without them. Anthony’s good health progress is attributed to pasteurized human breast milk. My anxiety has subsided since I know that Anthony is getting the best possible source of nutrition. Thank you to all the mothers who donate human breast milk. You are truly making a difference, one tummy at a time!” Baby Anthony’s Story
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
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 Belmont, New Hampshire; Lebanon, NH; Portland, Maine; Lewiston, Maine; Northampton, MA; 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 Special Assistance 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.