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Teardrops and milkdrops: donating after loss

The loss of a baby is a profound, devastating experience. Some women find healing by donating breast milk to other babies in need.

Austin Milk Bank Premature Baby


Our bereavement program offers a simplified path to donating milk for women suffering from a perinatal loss. Any bereaved woman can donate her milk after completing our application process. We waive all requirements related to minimum volume, medications, and herbs. We use every ounce of milk donated, using it to study breast milk in our Research lab if we can’t safely feed it to our recipient babies. Bereaved donors are invited to participate in our Teardrops and Milkdrops memory garden once their lactation journey ends.

We hear over and over that women who choose to lactate and donate while grieving find relief and healing by making milk for other women’s sick babies, and we are so honored to partner with grieving women in this way. Whether their milk-making journey lasts a few days or several months, we hope all feel empowered by the choice to donate their milk.

Apply to donate milk


Healthcare provider resources

We understand that many healthcare providers have a difficult time discussing loss with families, and may not know how to educate or support women who start lactating, whether they want to stop or induce their milk production. We’ve created an educational brochure for use in healthcare settings, and in it we answer common questions about lactation while bereaved, including options to express and donate breast milk or to suppress unwelcome milk production. This brochure is available for free in both English and Spanish, and can be requested in bulk.

Request brochures

English & Spanish version of the brochure


“Pumping to donate was hard. But the thought of NOT doing it was even harder. We felt that to suppress my milk was to have to suffer the loss of yet another piece of our son--pumping allowed us to hold on for a little while until we were ready to let go. The option was comforting in a time of so little options. ”

- Anonymous, Bereaved milk donor

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