Why would a baby need donor milk?

  • Baby is born prematurely
  • Baby has a weakened immune system or special dietary needs
  • Baby is adopted
  • Baby may be at-risk or have special needs
  • Mom’s milk is in low supply or unavailable
  • Mom is sick, has undergone a C-section or needs certain medication
  • Mom may be supplying breastmilk for twins or triplets and needs more milk
  • Mom may need medications that could pass into breast milk and be harmful to baby
  • Mom has a chronic infection or other medical condition that keeps her from breastfeeding
  • Mom has a breast infection that impacts her milk supply

How does donor milk help my baby?

  • Lowers the risk of allergies
  • Improves brain development
  • Decreases risk of obesity, asthma and type 1 diabetes
  • Improves digestion and baby’s ability to absorb nutrients, like calcium and iron
  • Protects against illness, such as earaches, stomach aches and colds
  • Provides easy-to-digest nutrition
  • Decreases risk for infection and helps baby fight viruses and bacteria
  • Lowers risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Helps a premature or sick baby grow and develop properly

Is there a limit to how long (or how much) my baby can receive donor milk?

No. There is no limit on the amount or length of time donor milk is received.

How can I be sure donor milk is safe for my baby?

Donors go through a careful screening process that includes a blood test like the screening for a blood bank and a doctor’s review of the donor’s medical history. To ensure the safety of pasteurized donor milk, the Milk Bank follows processing and dispensing guidelines based on input from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the blood and tissue industries.

How is donor milk processed?

Donated milk is collected according to CDC and FDA guidelines. It is then pasteurized (heated to remove bacteria and prevent milk from spoiling), Next, the milk is tested to ensure it is free of bacteria and safe for baby.

How much does donor milk cost?

The out-of-pocket cost is $4.25 per ounce of milk. (A 7-pound newborn may need about 20 ounces of milk each day.)

Is donor milk covered by insurance?

Insurance providers differ on coverage, so it’s important to check. Donor milk used while baby is still in the hospital is often covered by insurance. Donor milk used outside the hospital is typically not covered by insurance.

How do I order donor milk?

If your baby needs breast milk after being discharged from the hospital, please contact the Milk Bank at (517) 205-Milk to schedule a time for pick-up. A prescription is needed once your baby has received 40 ounces of milk.


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