Taking the time to become a milk donor is an amazing step. You could be changing the lives of another baby and their family forever.
Becoming a milk donor is similar to becoming a blood donor. Relatively few things would prevent you becoming a milk donor, but we cannot accept donations if you are smoking, vaping or using nicotine replacement products.
- You will need to complete a questionnaire, which we can send over by email or post. We can also post out forms and information to you if you prefer. The questionnaire includes questions about any recent overseas travel and about your medical history, as well as your baby’s health and how you are expressing milk.
- Please contact the milk bank by phone (01582 314 130/1, between 9.30 am and 5 pm) or by email (email@example.com), if you would like us to guide you through the process.
- Once we have checked through your forms, we will send you a consent form that can be signed electronically. We will post out a kit that contains everything you will need for blood tests to be taken. These can be arranged at your GP or local phlebotomy centre, wherever you usually access blood tests. We are required by national guidelines to test all donors for HIV1 and 2, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV). These are all infections that we can have without knowing and which may get into breastmilk. You can read more about these infectious diseases and the screening process here .
- The blood results take about 7- 10 working days to come back from our partner NHS laboratory. Once we have your results, we will send you instructions on how to arrange your first collection.
- Every container (bag or bottle) of milk for donation will need to be labelled with your name or unique Hearts Milk Bank donor ID number, the date it was expressed and details of any medications taken within the previous 24 hours.
- If anything changes, you need to take a new medication or move house, or would like to stop donating, please get in touch with the Hearts team.
All of our processes are in line with the NICE Clinical Guideline #93 for the Operation of a Human Milk Bank and we are passionate about supporting research to understand optimal donor support, donor milk processing, and use of donor milk.
Which areas do we cover?
The Hearts Milk bank is working towards making it possible to donate your milk to us regardless of where you are based, and we currently have milk hubs in Norfolk, Kent, the East Midlands and South Wales, with plans for other regions in the near future. You can find out more about our hubs here.
We can currently accept donors from the following regions:
Always check if there is a more local NHS milk bank through the UK Association for Milk Banking’s website (www.ukamb.org/milk-banks). Other milk banks have slightly different recruitment criteria around the age of your baby and medications that can be accepted, so please get back to us if you are not eligible elsewhere.
If you would like to become a milk donor, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01582 314 130 / 1.