What We Do
What We Do
The heroes of the milk bank are our milk donors.
Donors are wonderful, generous women who care about the health of babies they have never met. Our donor mothers graciously agree to go through a screening process which includes blood testing to be accepted as a human milk donor. They are not compensated for their milk donation. They donate their milk out of a true desire to help another mother who is unable to provide milk for her sick or premature infant. They are rewarded by knowing that their donation may save the life of someone else’s baby. Some of these mothers are blessed with a very abundant milk supply and collect their excess milk for the milk bank. Others have an adequate milk supply for their own baby but deeply desire to be a milk donor and work very hard to donate the minimum 100 ounces. Another group of mothers are the ones who have experienced the loss of their precious baby and through their grief, find the strength to donate their stored milk so that they might help another baby.
All of these mothers are heroes and we are grateful for each one of them. Thank you donor mothers for your selfless and generous contributions to the babies we serve.
- Donors are screened through a short phone interview, questionnaire and blood testing.
- Donors drop their milk off at the milk bank or one of our milk-collection sites. Mothers who are not near a drop-off location can call for a pickup or to ship their milk to us.
- Milk is checked into the milk bank data base system and given a unique bar code that traces it all the way to tummies of our sweet preemies!
- Staff members use clean techniques in preparation for processing the milk. It looks like they are about to perform surgery!
- The pasteurization staff monitors the milk as it slowly thaws. Once thawed, the milk is poured into flasks.
- A sample of milk from each donor is analyzed for nutritional value so we know the caloric and protien content of each batch of milk before dispensing it to a hospital.
- The milk is poured into 100 mL bottles and labeled with another barcode that holds important information about the milk. The barcode contains nutritional information, batch numbers, expiration dates, and a unique code that is compatible with hospital logging systems.
- The milk is gently pasteurized at 62.5o Celsius for 30 minutes. This special method of pasteurization kills potentially harmful viruses and bacteria but does not harm the majority of the milk’s immunological properties and beneficial components. The nutritional composition remains unchanged. Even after heat treatment, human milk can protect a premature baby from many complications and illnesses.
- After processing, a bacterial culture is completed to make sure that there are no harmful bacteria remaining in the milk.
- Milk is frozen and held at -20oC until it is requested by a hospital or healthcare-provider.
- Once requested milk is packed up with great attention to safety and temperature during transport.
- Milk is shipped by overnight carrier to hospitals not in the DFW area or delivered in our Milk Mobile to local hospitals.
Who We Serve
The Mothers’ Milk Bank or North Texas provides milk to over 100 hospital NICUs in 12 states.
About 80% of the milk we dispense goes to feed and protect hospitalized babies. The remaining milk is dispensed to fragile and medically needy babies that have been discharged from the hospital. Babies that receive milk at home are typically medically fragile babies that were not able to transition to infant formula feedings at discharge and can only thrive on donor human milk. The most common recipient of donor human milk are hospitalized preemies weighing less than 3.5 pounds.