Human Milk Banking Association of North America


  Technician scrubbing hands with anti-microbial soap  



Each pasteurization team member thoroughly scrubs her hands with antimicrobial soap before putting on gloves; gloves are always used when handling milk as part of the pasteurization process.


      Donor milk poured into flask  



Milk from a donor mother is carefully transferred from milk storage containers to glass flasks.


  Mixing milk from several donors  

Mixing & Pooling


Each Pool (which usually includes milk from 3 to 5 donors) is thoroughly mixed to ensure an even distribution of milk components.


      Filling 4 oz. jars with milk  
  Filling Bottles    

Four ounce glass bottles are filled with milk prior to pasteurization



  Milk in pasteurizing bath  

Pasteurizing with the Holder Method


Milk is gently heated in a shaking water bath using the Holder Method of pasteurization. Pasteurization eliminates bacteria while retaining the majority of the milk's beneficial components


      Technician viewing cultures for bacteria  

Lab Testing


Milk samples are taken during the pasteurization process and cultured to check for bacterial growth. Contaminated milk is discarded.


  Sealed jars of pastuerized milk  

Pasteurized Milk


Milk is now ready for freezing and storage. It can be dispensed after samples are cultured and show no bacteria growth.  Milk is shipped frozen overnight to hospitals and individual recipients at home.