milk banking

History of Milk Banking

As more is learned about the unique components in human milk and protective qualities for premature infants, milk banking in North America continues to grow. HMBANA has experienced a dramatic increase in the amount of donor human milk dispensed in the last decade. Read More
With advances in the care of premature and fragile infants, much has been learned about the benefits of human milk nutrition for these fragile babies. If maternal milk is insufficient or unavailable to high risk, ill or premature infants, the next best option is pasteurized donor human milk. Read More
Infant formula was developed in the early 1900s to prevent the death of infants that did not have access to breastmilk, but it was not intended to replace breastfeeding. Unfortunately, the marketing of artificial feeding products (“formula”) was extremely successful and formula became widely accepted as a product that was equal to or better than human milk. Read More
The act of mothers providing breastmilk for a baby that is not their own dates back thousands of years. Evidence of wet nursing is depicted in tomb paintings in ancient Egypt and is also found in the Code of Hammurabi from 2250 BC in which appropriate wet nurses are described. Read More

Milk Processing

Screening
1. SCREENING
Milk donors are screened through a short phone interview, questionnaire and blood testing.
Drop Off
2. DROP OFF
Donors drop their milk off at the milk bank or one of our milk collection sites. Donors who are not near a milk collection site ship their milk to the milk bank.
Milk Check In
3. MILK CHECK IN
Raw milk is checked into the milk bank database system and given a unique barcode that traces each milk deposit all the way to the sweet, hungry preemies MMBNT serves!
Thawing
4. THAWING
Pasteurization staff members use clean techniques in preparation for processing the milk. The pasteurization staff monitors the milk as it slowly thaws. Once thawed, the milk is poured into flasks.
Evaluation
5. EVALUATION
A sample of milk from each donor and batch is analyzed for its nutritional value so that each bottle of milk can be labeled with the caloric and protein content before being dispensed to a hospital.
Packaging
6. PACKAGING
The milk is poured into 100 mL or 200 mL bottles and each is labeled with a barcode that contains nutritional information, a batch number, an expiration date, and a unique code that is compatible with hospital logging and tracking systems.
Pasteurizing
7. PASTEURIZING
Once bottled, the milk is gently pasteurized at 62.5°Celsius for 30 minutes. This special method of pasteurization (the Holder Method) kills potentially harmful viruses and bacteria but does not harm the majority of the milk’s immunological properties and beneficial components. The nutritional composition of the milk remains unchanged. Even after heat treatment, donor human milk can protect a premature baby from many complications and illnesses.
Freezing
8. FREEZING
After processing, a bacterial culture is completed to make sure that there are no harmful bacteria remaining in the milk.Pasteurized milk is frozen and held at -20°C until it is requested by a hospital or healthcare provider.
Delivery
9. DELIVERY
Once requested, the milk is packed with great attention to safety and temperature control during transport. Frozen milk is delivered by a courier to local hospitals or shipped by overnight carrier to hospitals outside of North Texas.