I was fortunate enough to be able to donate some of my breastmilk. If you ever have any supply that you can share, it is an amazing thing to do. Donated breastmilk is mostly used for infants in the NICU, many of whom are born prematurely. For them, breastmilk is extremely helpful. It helps to prevent infections, promotes growth and helps development.
When storing milk, keep the bags with similar amounts of milk (I kept 6 oz per bag). Do not overfill bags. Try to put the milk in the freezer as soon as you can, if you know that you are not going to use it immediately. Place the milk flat in the freezer. Make sure that the bag is labeled with the date and amount. Once the milk freezes, stack it (a shoebox works well for this purpose.)
Most banks accept milk that is 6 months old but a few will accept up to 9 months. Also, keep in mind that the banks usually do not accept fewer than 150 ounces so plan on making a sizable donation. This is unfortunate, but in order for these facilities to be able to send you the supplies, pay for shipping, registration, and blood work, they can’t accept less.
Here is how the process went for me:
- I looked around for banks online which would accept the amount of milk I had and milk that was over 6 months (some of my milk was older)
- After calling around a few places, I found one that I liked
- The milk bank sent me requisitions to do blood work and requisitions for my doctors (OBGYN and Pediatrician) to complete
- After my labs were done they were sent to the milk bank
- Next, the milk bank sent me a special thermal box filled with ice
- I filled the box with all my milk, ice, and kept it in the freezer until it was picked up by FedEx. It was mailed overnight and received. Yay!