A Parent's Guide to Donor Human Milk

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A Parent’s Guide to Donor Human Milk

The Miracle of Donor Human Milk Breastmilk is the perfect food for babies, especially those who are in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It contains unique nutritive and immunological properties that cannot be replicated by formula. In fact, fragile and premature babies fed human milk are less likely to develop infections and other serious complications of prematurity. ¹ It is very common for mothers of fragile “The potent infants to face challenges when benefits of establishing a breastmilk supply. human milk are Stress, medication use or other such that all health conditions can all affect a preterm infants mother’s ability to produce or should receive human provide breastmilk for her child. milk… If mother’s own When a mother’s own milk is not milk is unavailable despite available, donor human milk significant lactation support, from a milk bank is the next pasteurized donor human best option.2 milk should be used.” ² – American Academy of Pediatrics


Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas is here to help. Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, a nonprofit founded in 2004, strives to improve the health and survival of infants through breastfeeding advocacy and the safe, equitable provision of pasteurized donor human milk. Donor human milk is safe. • Breastmilk is donated by screened and approved mothers. • Milk is processed, tested and gently pasteurized. Does pasteurization change the milk?3 • Pasteurization eliminates any potentially harmful bacteria. • The gentle method used preserves the majority of immunological properties.

MMBNT dispenses more than


ounces of donor milk per year Proud member of

A professional association for nonprofit milk banks that creates guidelines and oversees accreditation

Who Donates the Milk? Our mission would not be possible without generous mothers who donate the extra breastmilk their own babies don’t need. Donor screening includes: • Phone interview • Medical history paperwork • Clearance from doctor • Blood testing for HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B and C and Syphilis

Donor milk was “such a blessing

for my son when he was in the NICU. When I eventually established a supply and produced more than he needed, I was honored to become a donor and help other mothers and babies. – Beth S., Milk Donor and Recipient

How It Works • Donors collect and freeze their breastmilk at home, then deliver it to the milk bank or a depot collection site conveniently located in their community. • Donors receive detailed instructions regarding the collection and handling of breastmilk, including hand washing, breast cleansing and sanitization of breast pumps and equipment. • MMBNT staff monitor and record any health, medication or lifestyle changes.

Inside Our Lab 1

Milk arrives frozen from approved donors where it is logged into a system database and stored in monitored freezers until processing.


Milk is carefully thawed in the milk bank’s state-of-the-art human milk processing laboratory.


Milk from several donors is analyzed and combined to optimize nutrition for fragile infants.


Milk is poured into bottles and secured with tamperresistant lids.


Each bottle is labeled with a barcode that contains nutritional information, batch number and expiration date, and is compatible with hospital logging and tracking systems.


Milk is pasteurized using the Holder method, which gently eliminates potentially harmful bacteria while preserving immunological properties and nutritional composition.


After pasteurization, a lab culture is completed to ensure each processed batch is free from harmful bacteria.


Bottles are quickly frozen and held at a consistent temperature until requested by a hospital or healthcare professional.


Frozen bottles are packed in insulated boxes with great attention to safety and temperature control.


Frozen bottles are transported by courier to local hospitals or shipped overnight on dry ice.

• MMBNT follows strict guidelines developed by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). • Since the inception of HMBANA in 1985, there has not been disease transmission or harm to a baby from properly pasteurized donor human milk from a member milk bank. • For more information about HMBANA, visit www.hmbana.org. 1. Best for Babes. Fast Facts: Miracle Milk. April 2018. Available at: http://www.miraclemilk.org/wpcontent/uploads/2018/04/FAST-FACTS_-Miracle-Milk%C2%AE-FINAL.pdf. Accessed October 11, 2018. 2. American Academy of Pediatrics. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. March 2012; 129:3. 3. Pelia C, Moro GE, Bertino E, et al. The Effect of Holder Pasteurization on Nutrients and BiologicallyActive Components in Donor Human Milk: A Review. Nutrients. August 2016; 8(8):477.

Every Drop Contains

a Miracle

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