Human Milk Banking Association of North America

Interested in Developing a HMBANA Milk Bank?


HMBANA aims to facilitate the establishment of non-profit donor milk banks in North America in areas where they are needed.  Interested groups must adhere to HMBANA’s “Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of a Donor Human Milk Bank”.  No funding is available from HMBANA.

If you have questions after reading the following publications, please contact HMBANA Headquarters*.  Please do not contact HMBANA member banks directly.

Interested in Developing a HMBANA Milk Bank?

1.     Study in detail the following publications that can be ordered from HMBANA Headquarters*:

  • Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of a Donor Human Milk Bank
  • Best Practice for Expressing, Storing and Handling Human Milk in Hospitals, Homes and Child Care Settings

After you have completed #2 below, and if HMBANA determines we can provide guidance, you will be assigned a HMBANA mentor for up to 2 years.  Prior to reaching that stage, any communication should be through HMBANA Headquarters*.  Please do not contact HMBANA member banks directly unless you want to become a milk collection depot for a bank in your state/province/area. 

Still Interested in Developing a HMBANA Milk Bank?

2.     Before contacting HMBANA Headquarters:

  • Does your state/province already have a milk bank?  If so, is another milk bank viable or would a milk collection depot be more suitable?  To start a depot, contact the milk bank in your state/province/area or HMBANA Headquarters*.
  • If your state/province does not have a milk bank, determine (for your state/province):
    • the number of level III NICU’s and their bed capacity
    • approximate current amount of donor human milk dispensed to inpatients/outpatients
    • birth rate
    • breast feeding rate
    • if other individuals/groups are already working on establishing a milk bank there.  If so, can you align?
    • medical community support from obstetrics/gynecology, neonatology, pediatrics, family practice, lactation consultants, nurses, dietitians, etc.
      • obtain their letters of support
    • whether local hospital NICU’s and Mother/Baby Units without an inventory of donor human milk are interested in having it available
      • obtain their letters of intent
  • Develop a working group that includes medical representatives from neonatology, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology.
  • Create a list of potential/engaged financial sponsors and describe who in your group will obtain funding and how.  List awards received/pending/expected and amounts generated.  If no operating funds have been obtained, so state.
  • Obtain start-up funding (to cover expenses of visiting milk banks, attending a HMBANA Conference, etc.) and list sources and amounts received.  At least $5,000 should be available.
  • Draft a design of your milk bank facility.  This does not need to be a blueprint.  Submit a plan outlining the features of your structure.
  • Chart a time line for the development of your milk bank.


  1. Once you have completed all phases of #2, send written responses to each of the points/subpoints in #2 above along with the requested letters and attachments to HMBANA Headquarters* with your contact information.
  2. Your submission will be returned if there are missing documents.
  1. HMBANA’s Executive Committee will review completed submissions.    
  1.  If the Executive Committee determines that HMBANA can provide guidance, you will be assigned to a HMBANA mentor bank for up to 2 years.
  2. The mentor will provide guidance only and will not be a member of your working group.  Mentorship may be withdrawn at will by the mentor bank.
  1.  Contact HMBANA Headquarters* for the Developing Milk Bank application upon the recommendation of your mentor.