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Donor Human Milk Ordering, Storage, and Use in the Home

Ordering Milk:

  1. Families must contact MMBA each week to request milk for their child.  Contact us via email: orders@milkbank.org or call us at (512) 494-0800, or toll free (877) 813-6155. As a courtesy, MMBA asks for at least  24-48 hours’ notice to allow time to prepare your order.
  2. MMBA ships milk daily Monday through Thursday with shipments arriving the next day. Requests for next-day delivery must be made by 3 pm CST.  Recipients located in the Austin area may schedule an appointment to pick up milk Monday through  Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Handling Milk:

NEVER DEFROST OR HEAT MILK IN THE MICROWAVE

NEVER HEAT HUMAN MILK WARMER THAN SKIN TEMPERATURE

Upon receipt of milk:

  • Upon receipt of milk please check all bottles to verify that all are frozen solid.  If not solid, slightly thawed bottles may be used if the bottle still contains ice crystals. A  cold-chain verification strip will be included with your shipment and informs you if the shipment spent any time above freezing. Call us if there is any red in the bubbles on the strip or are there any problems or questions.
  • Place the milk in a freezer, toward the back or the bottom, where it will stay as cold as possible. Do not store milk on the door shelf. Note the expiration date on each bottle and use the milk with the earliest expiration date first.

Thaw milk for feedings:

  • In the refrigerator for several hours:
    • This slow method is recommended because the milk remains cold while thawing, preserving its helpful components. Place the amount of milk needed for one day in the refrigerator. Once thawed, note the date and time.  Milk should be used within 24 hours once completely liquid.
  • For quick defrosting:
    • Hold the bottle under cool running tap water,  gradually increasing the temperature to skin temperature. Or, place the bottle in a clean container of warm water. As water cools, replace it with more warm water. Gently swirl the milk around in the bottle until fully thawed.

Ready to feed:

  • When ready to feed, gently swirl the milk to mix the layers. Then pour the estimated amount needed into a clean feeding container. Cover the bottle and place any remaining cold milk back into the refrigerator immediately.
  • Many babies will accept a cold bottle. However, human milk is produced at body temperature which many infants will prefer.

Discarded milk:

  • Thawed, warm milk should be discarded after one hour at room temperature. If at room temperature for less than one hour, milk not used after one feeding may be put back in the refrigerator and used for the next. Never add this milk to a  “new” bottle of thawed milk. Any remainder should be discarded if not used at the next feeding.

Lost power or delayed shipment delivery:

In the case of an emergency where power is lost or a delayed shipment delivery, use the following methods to verify the condition of each bottle of milk:

  • If the milk is partially frozen or you can hear ice crystals present, the milk can be refrozen and used up until thawing or the expiration date printed on the bottle.
  • If the milk is completely liquid, no ice crystals are present but the milk is chilled, the milk must be used within 24 hours.  The 24 hours begins as soon as this is noted.
  • If the milk is completely thawed and warm, it must be discarded.
  • For shipments, a cold chain verification strip can be found at the bottom of the cooler.  If there is any pink in the bubbles, contact MMBA to determine how to proceed.
  • During power failures, only open the freezer when absolutely necessary.  Dry ice can be used to keep milk frozen for the duration of the outage/storm.

Please call us if you have any questions: 512-494-0800, or toll-free at 877-813-6155.  We are in the office between 9 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday. Feel free to leave a  message on Voicemail and we will return your call ASAP.

 

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