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How to donate milk

Step One

Collect milk

Austin Milk Bank Premature Baby

Collect milk

You need at least 100 ounces to become a milk donor – that’s about 25 breast milk storage bags!

Collect your 100 ounces anyway you like -hand expression, electric or battery-operated pump, silicone milk collector while nursing on the other side, whatever works for you! Every drop of that liquid gold is good for the babies.

Collect the milk in sterile bags or containers made specifically for breast milk, or sanitize a food-grade plastic or glass container by dropping it into boiling water for 5 minutes. Let the container air dry before filling with milk.

Got an oversupply? Donate as much as you want, as often as you want in your first year postpartum, as long as your milk isn’t in your freezer for longer than eight months. Our biggest-ever donation was over 25,000 ounces, though most give a few hundred.

5.5 ounces could  feed a preemie for 24 hours, and 60,000 tiny preterm babies are born each year, so every drop counts.

Step Two

Prepare milk

Austin Milk Bank Premature Baby

Prepare milk

Label your milk with the date it was pumped.

Keep a daily record of any medications, herbs, or supplements you take. We’ll ask about these during the application process, and we might ask you not to donate the milk pumped on certain dates.

Mark your milk with a big red X if you pumped in the first 6 hours after having an alcoholic drink, or 12 hours after two servings of alcohol.

Seal the bag or bottle immediately after filling it.

Step Three

Store milk

Austin Milk Bank Premature Baby

Store milk

Store pumped milk in sterilized containers, like breast milk storage bags (any brand is fine).

Put freshly pumped milk straight into the fridge or freezer. If stored initially in the refrigerator, move it to the freezer as soon as possible, within 4 days max.

Keep milk frozen until you’re ready to donate. Thawed milk can’t be donated.

Step Four

Get your milk to the milk bank

Austin Milk Bank Premature Baby

Get your milk to the milk bank

Bring your milk to one of our 50+ Milk Collection Sites if you’re within driving distance. A trusted friend or partner can bring it for you too. Just place your frozen milk in a bag with a piece of paper listing your name and donor ID (# assigned to you when you become a donor). See the map [link to map page] of all locations.

If you’re not near a Milk Collection Site, we’ll help you ship your milk straight to us. We pay for all the shipping fees, including the dry ice or ice packs you’ll need for keeping the milk frozen on its overnight journey. Insulated boxes for shipping fit around 200 ounces of milk, and you can request as many boxes as you need.

Austin Milk Bank Premature Baby

Ready to get started?

Apply to donate now

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