Jun 21

Four Simple Steps To Donate Your Milk

San Diego Mothers’ Milk Bank is a developing Milk Bank, opening 2019. Our goals are to help mothers breastfeed, to improve breastmilk donation and assure that all premature or ill babies in San Diego County and Imperial Valley have access to donor milk.

We have temporarily partnered with Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin during our development phase. Mothers will work with MMBA to be approved for donation, milk will be collected locally at the San Diego Blood Bank, and shipped to Austin for processing until we are ready to open.

Call today to donate 512-494-0800 or toll-free 1-877-813.MILK (6455).


Donating Your Milk

  • Complete a 10-15 minute phone screening.
  • Complete and return an informational packet.
  • Have a blood test done. (We pay.)
  • When we receive your paperwork and lab results, our Executive Director calls you with your approval status.
  • See our ‘How Donation Works’ page for additional information on making donations after you have been approved.

Who Can Donate Milk?

You are a good candidate if you’re a mother who is currently (or just recently) lactating and has surplus milk and if you are:

  • In good general health.
  • Willing to undergo a blood test (at our expense).
  • Not regularly using medication or herbal supplements (with a few exceptions).
  • Willing to donate 100 ounces of milk initially and continue pumping to donate as you are able.
  • Nursing an infant who is less than one year of age (bereaved or surrogate mothers are also eligible to donate).
  • Able to arrange for transportation of your milk to a drop-off site, or in some cases to ship your milk to the Milk Bank.

You are not eligible to donate milk if:

  • You have a positive blood test result for HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B or C, or Syphilis.
  • You or your sexual partner is at risk for HIV.
  • You use illegal drugs.
  • You smoke or use tobacco products.
  • You have received an organ or tissue transplant or a blood transfusion in the last six months,
  • You regularly have more than two alcoholic drinks per day.
  • Between 1980-1996, you were in the United Kingdom for more than three months or in Europe for more than five years.

Start The Donor Screening

Ready to provide some basic information so we can call you for a phone screening?

Fill out the form here to get started or email Laura Tankersley or call her at 512-494-0800 or toll-free 1-877-813.MILK (6455).

Please include the following information in your email:

  • Name.
  • Phone number.
  • Location.
  • Baby’s birth date.
  • Whether or not you have already collected any milk.
  • Any medications or herbal supplements you’re taking.
  • Best time to reach you.

Get a Blood Test

Your milk will be prescribed to pre-term and critically ill babies. To provide the safest milk possible, we require all donor moms to complete a blood test to screen for harmful viruses. MMBA covers the cost of these tests.

Before taking the blood test, we ask that you first complete the initial phone screening, receive your donor ID number, and have already collected a significant portion of your initial 100 ounces of milk.

When you go to have your blood drawn, be sure to bring the requisition form we provide.

The lab will test for:

RPR (syphilis)
HTLV I & II (Human T-Lymphotrophic Virus)
Hepatitis B (HbsAg)
Hepatitis C (HCV)

You may get your blood test done at any of the national and regional blood centers listed below with whom we partner.

Find which lab has a location nearest you by visiting their websites.

Across the US: LabCorp
Across the US: Quest Diagnostics

If you live outside the areas listed and cannot find a lab with whom we contract, please call us to discuss additional options for completing your blood work.

Be Approved as a Milk Donor

The approval process can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks, depending on how quickly you return your paperwork and get your blood work done–and how soon we receive the completed health forms from your healthcare providers.

Once you become an approved milk donor mom, you’ll be ready to begin dropping off your milk at one of our collection sites, or to ship your milk to us at the Milk Bank.

More questions? See Milk Donor FAQs.

Click here for more information on the Milk Bank preparation process.

Donor information courtesy of Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin.