WHY BANK MILK?
WE ARE WORKING TOWARD THE DAY WHEN WE ARE ABLE TO COLLECT ENOUGH MILK TO PROVIDE FOR ALL THE BABIES WHO NEED IT.
Some moms give their milk directly to the parents of babies in need, an exchange known as casual sharing. The intent behind casual sharing is wonderful – it’s a caring act of sisterhood. But we believe strongly that it’s important to go the extra mile to have the surplus milk tested in a lab to make absolutely sure that it’s safe for any baby.
WHO WE ARE
We promote the health of babies and mothers through the provision of safe pasteurized donor milk and support of breastfeeding.
Over the past 30 years, nonprofit milk banks have opened in cities across the United States and Canada.
Our milk banks receive surplus milk and dispense it after the donated milk is pasteurized and tested. Most of our recipients are infants in neo-natal intensive care units (NICUs).
WHAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT
THE HISTORY OF MILK BANKING
At the dawn of the twentieth century, nearly all children were human milk fed - either maternally breastfed or provided with donated human milk. Over the next one hundred years, a number of dramatic changes took place including the replacement of human milk by artificial feeding products. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, human milk feeding was once again the recommended method of infant feeding. Experts recommend breastfeeding exclusively for six months and the introduction of age appropriate foods with breast milk to remain in the diet for two years and beyond. When maternal milk is inadequate or lacking particularly for high risk or premature infants pasteurized donor milk is the next best option. Donor milk banking plays an important role in meeting these recommendations.
The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) is a professional association for supporters of non-profit donor human milk banking.
HMBANA promotes the health of babies and mothers through the provision of safe pasteurized donor milk and support of breastfeeding.
It Was founded in 1985 to:
- Develop guidelines for donor human milk banking practices in North America
- Provide a forum for information sharing among experts in the field on issues related to donor milk banking
- Provide information to the medical community regarding use of donor milk
- Encourage research into the unique properties of human milk for therapeutic and nutritional purposes
- Act as a liaison between member banks and governmental agencies
- Facilitate communication among member banks to assure adequate distribution of donor milk
- Facilitate the establishment of new donor milk banks in North America using HMBANA standards.
POSITION PAPERS ON DONOR MILK BANKING
Learn more about HMBANA's position on the value of human milk, including current research and the rights of mothers and infants. HMBANA Position Paper on Donor Milk Banking (pdf)
Ethical and safety considerations for milk donation: Donor Human Milk: Ensuring Safety and Ethical Allocation (pdf)
Associate Institutional (non-voting)
$40.00/year (any hospital or professional group committed to the concept of donor milk as part of medical treatment)
$30.00/year (any interested individual in the health professions, research, or the community)
WHO DO WE SERVE
Currently there are 18 HMBANA member milk banks (see Milk Bank Locations) providing human donor milk to the US and Canada. In the US in 2014, HMBANA banks served 50 states and 264 cities and in Canada, 3 provinces and 7 cities.
Each HMBANA milk bank is assessed yearly and required to provide evidence of adherence to the most recent edition of "Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of a Donor Human Milk Bank," published annually by HMBANA.