Site Logo

Hello, you are using an old browser that's unsafe and no longer supported. Please consider updating your browser to a newer version, or downloading a modern browser.

Processing Fee

Donor Human Milk Processing Fee

Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin charges a processing fee of $4.65 per ounce, an amount that offsets the substantial costs of operating a modern, standards-compliant, non-profit milk bank. These costs include recruiting, screening (including blood testing), and providing ongoing support for milk donors; equipping remote depots for donated milk; inbound overnight shipping from remote depots and operating a courier service for closer depots; logging, external laboratory culturing, and analyzing donated milk for fat, lactose, and protein content; pooling milk from multiple donors to achieve targeted nutritional formulations; pasteurizing, bottling, and barcode labeling milk to be dispensed upon prescription. Milk is dispensed in proprietary, tamper-evident bottles and caps designed to our specifications. The costs also reflect the amortization of a state-of-the-art nutritional analyzer, freezers, pasteurizers, other equipment and facilities as well as an on-site generator to assure safe milk storage during a potential power failure. The current processing fee was approved by the Board of Directors in 2017; from 2009-2017 the fee had been $4.50 per ounce.

Hospitals must cover this processing fee (plus shipping or courier service) for all inpatients. The fee also applies to families of outpatient babies, although most families receive full or partial coverage from insurance or Medicaid. For families with documented financial needs, the Milk Bank provides the milk through a charitable care program.

Safe, pasteurized, and labeled donor milk may seem expensive compared to formula, however the true cost of infant feeding must take into consideration the reduction in necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) attributable to donor milk versus formula feeding. Numerous published studies, listed below, have established both the medical superiority and cost effectiveness of donor milk for low birthweight infants.

Well Baby Units utilizing donor human milk to temporarily supplement mom’s own milk when babies show mild hypoglycemia or mild hyperbilirubinemia are becoming more mainstream, especially in hospitals that are Baby Friendly or have achieved the Texas Ten Steps designation. 

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America and subject to inspection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, MMBA is committed to providing safe, nutritionally-analyzed, and target pooled and labeled donor milk. Since our founding by two Austin neonatologists in 1999, MMBA is proud to have dispensed over 7 million ounces of donor milk without a single negative outcome.

Please contact our Executive Director, Kim Updegrove at  if you have any questions about the safety, quality, and cost effectiveness of our donor milk product.


donor human milk in a freezer

Healthcare Providers

Kudos, Huston-Tillotson University!

We applaud Huston-Tillotson University, the historically Black university based in Austin, Texas, for their new program that will train lactation consultants, doulas, and midwives to battle the high maternal...

Healthcare Providers

Hand to Hold: The Importance of Donor Milk

Former Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin Board member, Veronica Cogwin, talks to Hand to Hold’s Kathryn Whitaker about her experience using donor human milk for her youngest infant, born...

Healthcare Providers

Congratulations, Houston Methodist Hospital!

U.S. News has just ranked Houston Methodist Hospital as one of the country’s top hospitals for obstetrics and gynecology. We’re proud to serve this illustrious hospital. Read more about...

Healthcare Providers

Under the Milky Way 2023

This year’s Under the Milky Way gala has been a tremendous success. If you joined us for UTMW 2023, we’re so glad you came and hope you had as...

Healthcare Providers

Sign up for our Newsletter!