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University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital accepting mother’s milk donations

Donated mother’s milk can help premature babies or those born critically ill. Beginning Aug. 1, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital will once again accept human milk donations from the community.

Moms: Want to help babies born prematurely or with a critical illness?

Consider donating human milk through University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. Beginning Aug. 1, our children’s hospital will resume accepting donations of frozen milk as part of a new partnership with the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation.

We’ve compiled some frequently asked questions about human milk donation and how donating can help mothers and babies in need. If you are interested in donating, or learning more about our screening process, please contact
or call 612-672-4122.

Why do some babies need donated mother's milk?

Human milk has been shown to be not only the best nutrition for babies but also protects the baby from disease, improves development and decreases the risk of disease well beyond infancy. Babies born prematurely, with a critical illness or with allergies may for various reasons be unable to access their mother’s milk and may not be able to tolerate formula. Human milk donations are the next best option. One ounce of human milk can feed an infant in neonatal intensive care for a full day.

Are milk donations safe?

Yes. There has never been a recorded medical issue from milk that’s come from milk banks associated with the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

What is University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital’s role?

University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital has become a Donation and Outreach Center for the Mothers’ Milk Bank, a nonprofit program that is part of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation in Colorado. We will be accepting drop-offs of frozen milk from local women and shipping it to the milk bank. Donors will also have a blood sample drawn at University of Minnesota Health and sent to the MMB for testing as part of the donor screening process. The Mothers' Milk Bank collects, processes and provides human donor milk to babies across the country.

What qualifications do donors need?

In order to donate, mothers must:
  • Produce more milk than their own baby needs
  • Be in excellent health and without any chronic illnesses
  • Have not received blood or blood products in the past 12 months
  • Have no history of hepatitis, intravenous drug use and have no history of intimate contact with anyone at risk for HIV/AIDS in the past 12 months
  • Be non-smokers
  • Have medical forms signed by their doctor and their baby’s doctor approving donations
  • Take only approved medications and herbs.

What’s the screening process like to become a donor?

To become a donor, milk banks ask that prospective donors go through a screening process that includes a review of their medical history and blood tests. Once approved, donors can give excess frozen milk for up to several months from date of expression. The milk bank tests and treats the milk and prepares it for use with fragile newborns when their own mother’s milk is not available. After donors have undergone a blood test and been approved, they will receive detailed instructions on how to hygienically collect and handle milk. 

How much milk do I have to be willing to donate?

Donors are encouraged to donate at least 150 ounces, although any amount is appreciated.