Donate Milk

***** 17th March 2020 Covid-19 update****

Due to the current pressure on GP services, we understand that it will be difficult for new potential donors to have blood samples taken at their local GPs surgeries so we are unable to recruit new donors in the current climate. However if your baby is currently on a neonatal unit or you live within 10 miles of the milk bank we should be able to help you have blood samples taken so please contact us to discuss.


How do I register as a milk donor?

We try to make the process as simple as possible for you. The first step is to contact us and we will talk you through the donor recruitment process and answer any questions you may have. If you decide to register as a donor we will send you registration forms by email and a donor box containing everything you need to start expressing for the milk bank. You can start expressing and storing your milk straight away without your blood test results. The first time we collect your milk we will provide you with a blood postage box and letter for your doctor. You will be asked to make an appointment with your doctor and send a blood sample to us by post for screening. All donors are tested for HIV 1-2, HTLV 1-2, Hepatitis and Syphillis, you will be informed of your results with 3 weeks.

You can donate if

  • Your baby is less than 3 months old when you register as a donor
  • You are and remain in good health
  • You are able to commit to a minimum donation of 2 litres
  • You already have stored milk that your own baby doesn’t need (following the screening process)

You cannot donate if

  • Any member of your household smokes
  • You use any type of nicotine replacement therapy including patches, chewing gum or inhalators (vaping)
  • You take certain medication (acceptable replacement drugs include Thyroxine, Insulin, Ventolin and Mini Pill (Progesterone only)) Please contact us for more information
  • You have had a vaccine to prevent you contracting yellow fever in the last six months
  • You have recently returned from an area of the world where certain infectious diseases are present (according to national guidance)

 Before expressing your milk

  • Please ensure  you have cleaned your breast pump in accordance with the guidelines we have emailed to you
  • Please wash your hands carefully following our hand washing guidelines

Expressing your milk

  • You can start expressing as soon as you have registered as a donor (you do not need to wait for blood test results)
  • Regular expressing ensures a good milk supply
  • Vary times of milk expression during 24 hours so the milk has a good nutrient balance
  • Stop expressing if you become unwell or develop any infections (including thrush or mastitis). Please inform the milk bank who will be able to advise how long before you can start expressing again
  • It is very important to inform us of any changes to medication, some medication may be safe when breastfeeding your own baby however you may need to stop expressing for the milk bank
  • Do not overfill bottles, please leave about 2cm gap at the top to allow for expansion

Storing your milk

  • Ensure you identify all bottles with your name and date of expression using the marker pen provided
  • Either freeze milk immediately or place onto a shelf at the back of your fridge (not in the door)
  • If you wish to mix milk from another expression please ensure that it is cooled in the fridge before mixing
  • If possible, please dedicate freezer space for 20-30 bottles away from other foodstuffs in your freezer
  • Please check the temperature of your freezer every day and record it on the temperature sheets provided

Collecting your milk

  • We will endeavour to collect your milk every 4-6 weeks
  • Please note we are unable to collect your milk until we have received your completed Donor Record Form
  • Please contact the milk bank when you have 2L or more to collect and we will aim to collect your milk within 2 weeks of request
  • Due to our processing capacity we are only able to accept a maximum of 8L per month per donor
  • When we have agreed a collection day we will give you an estimated collection time
  • If there is any reason you wish to cancel the arranged collection please inform us as soon as possible to avoid any wasted journeys

On the day of your collection

  • When we collect your milk for the first time we will provide you with a blood box and letter for your GP / Practice Nurse / Phlebotomy clinic to arrange for blood samples to be taken
  • Our driver will have a cool box to transport your milk to the milk bank
  • Please take your milk from your freezer when the driver arrives, place into a carrier bag (the driver can provide one) and give to the driver
  • Please ensure that you have completed the freezer temperature sheet and checklist on the reverse, including declaring any medication taken along with the date taken

Thank you for your support. You can find out about how your milk will be processed and distributed here: