The World Health Organization lists human donor milk as the second best option after a mother's own milk. It can be wonderful medicine for premature, seriously ill or even injured babies.
If you are interested in finding out more information about how to donate or acquire donor milk, the New York Lactation Consultant Association (NYLCA) encourages you to act locally. Just as with any other perishable food item, distance increases the costs and energy consumed to ensure that donor milk reaches the recipient in as close to its original state as possible. Since donor milk must be kept cold, the costs of transporting for long distances is high.
For more information about:
donating or acquiring human donor milk locally, contact the New York Milk Bank.
monitoring and ensuring the safety of human donor milk, check out the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.
If you are thinking globally about how to improve access to donor milk in developing areas, we suggest you consider donating funds to nonprofit organizations that help establish sustainable local milk banks. Unfortunately, there are some milk collection banks that market themselves as sending milk to babies in developing areas, while in reality the majority of the milk is processed by a company that is partnered with a formula company and sold for profit.
NYCLA is not responsible for the content, ommissions or errors in any the above websites, nor the outcome of any donations of milk or money through any organizations cited above.
Any contracts or informal arrangements for donations of milk are entirely the resposibility of the donor and the recipient. Individuals may wish to consult their health care practitioners concerning their own health and/or that of their baby before donating or receiving human donor milk. Individuals may wish to seek appropriate legal council for any formal contracts for donating or receiving milk.
The milk banks menioned above do not necessarily constitute an endorsement by NYLCA. We highly recommend that individuals or institutions research a variety of options when considering donations to breastfeeding or human donor milk banking projects in developing areas.