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Why donate breast milk? Milk Bank drop off

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.

  • Donated breast milk helps premature and medically compromised babies receive protection against necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), an often fatal gut infection, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and sepsis, which means babies require less medications and have shorter hospital stays.
  • Donor milk provides babies with improved brain, lung, immune, and neurological development.
  • Donor milk reducesincidence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, overweight and obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and asthma.

How to donate breast milk

Cheshire Medical Center is now a drop-off site for pre-screened mothers to donate their breast milk. This donated breast milk is stored in a designated freezer in the Medical Center’s Women and Children’s Health Unit.  It is then sent to the Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE) where it is tested and pasteurized to be given to babies in fragile health throughout the New England area.

Please note: We can ONLY accept breast milk from mothers who have completed the Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast screening process and can provide their individual code provided by the milk bank.

Donating your breast milk with Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE) is a rewarding experience.  Getting started is easy!
Four easy steps to becoming a milk donor:

  1. Complete a 15-minute phone screening.
  2. Fill out forms.
  3. Get a blood test (MMBNE will pay for it).
  4. Make arrangements with MMBNE for delivery of your milk (at no cost to you).

Our screening usually takes 2 – 3 weeks to complete.

You are most likely eligible to donate if:

  • You are in good health.
  • You have milk that is truly extra, or cannot be used by your baby (bereaved and surrogate mothers are welcome to become milk donors).
  • Your milk was put in the freezer within 48 hours of being pumped.
  • You are only using medications on our “approved for use in donors” list (call if you have questions!).
  • You are able to donate a minimum of 150 ounces (there is no minimum for bereaved donors).

*MMBNE accepts milk stored in your freezer up to at least 6-7 months, including milk previously pumped.

You will not be eligible to donate milk if:

  • You have or are being treated for HIV, HTLV, hepatitis B or C, or syphilis.
  • You or your sexual partner is at risk for HIV, HTLV, hepatitis B or C, or syphilis.
  • You have used recreational drugs in the past year, including marijuana.
  • You smoke or use tobacco products.
  • You drink alcohol daily.
  • You spent 3 months or more in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996 OR
  • You spent 5 years or more in Europe and/or the United Kingdom between 1980 and the present.

Ready to start? Call Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast at 617.527.6263 ext. 3 or email at donate@milkbankne.org. Please include the following in phone message or email:

  • Your name and phone number
  • Whether you already have milk stored for donation
  • Any medications or herbal supplements you are taking (or were taking while pumping)

More questions?  Please contact Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast at 617.527.6263, or check out our Milk Donor FAQs.