News & Events

Donor Human Milk Distribution Increases By Nearly 1 Million Ounces

3/31/20, Fort Worth, TX – The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) and its network of nonprofit milk bank members reached new heights in 2019. Nearly 7.4 million ounces of pasteurized donor human milk was distributed to fragile babies throughout Canada and the US, representing a nearly 1 million increase over 2018.

HMBANA President Amy Vickers stated, “Demand for screened, safe, pasteurized donor human milk continues to grow, as it’s yet another record-breaking year for HMBANA nonprofit milk banks. Vulnerable infants received nearly 5.85 million ounces in hospital NICUs and 1.5 million ounces at home.”

Thanks to 12,491 generous donors in 2019, member milk banks met growing demands while applying HMBANA standards, which are recognized and used by milk banks, NICUs, and other neonatal institutions across the globe.

Executive Director Lindsay Groff explained, “Our 29 member milk banks help mothers donate their extra breast milk for use by fragile infants as medicine. Together they define and follow specific, evidence-based guidelines for the screening, handling, and distribution of pasteurized donor human milk. Now more than ever, it’s important that we advocate for donor milk as a universal standard of care, regardless of ability to pay.”

The size and geographic reach of HMBANA’s network ensures robust supply and service. All HMBANA members share the same high clinical standards while advocating ethical sourcing and equitable distribution of donor milk and providing community breastfeeding support.

In 2000, HMBANA milk banks distributed under half a million ounces; by 2019, supply had grown nearly seven times and about 7.4 million ounces was distributed.