The safety and wellbeing of our employees, volunteers, donors, and outpatient families is our priority. We will continue to update this page with our latest Covid-19 information, statements, and guidelines.

Milk donors who receive the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson's  Covid-19 vaccines are still safe and permitted to donate their milk without a deferral period.

Covid-19 and Human Milk

The safety of the babies we serve is essential! We understand that you may have concerns about your infant’s safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Because Northwest Mothers Milk bank provides an important and essential service for the families and infants of the Pacific Northwest, we continue to operate during the period of mandated Covid-19 restrictions. However, we have enhanced the procedures already in place to provide a greater level of protection for our milk recipients, donated milk, milk donors, volunteers, and staff.  

  • There is no evidence that Covid-19 is transmitted through human milk. Please visit the CDC website and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Statement on Breastfeeding and Coronavirus 2019

  • Coronaviruses that are closely related to the strain that causes Covid-19 are readily killed during Holder Pasteurization, which is the process used to pasteurize donor human milk.  

  • The CDC recommends that breastfeeding mothers who test positive for Covid-19 continue to breastfeed or pump milk for their child.  

  • Milk donors who receive the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are still safe and permitted to donate their milk without a deferral period.

  • Although there is no evidence that Covid-19 is transmitted through human milk, milk donors who test positive for or suspect they have Covid-19 or who have been or believe they have been exposed to Covid-19 are temporarily deferred from donating in the interest of staff safety. Milk that is pumped during this time is safe to donate 14 days after the last date of symptoms, or 14 days after exposure if no symptoms develop.

Covid-19 Safety Precautions 

  • Precautions are always a part of what we do each day to ensure the safety of our milk, but they are especially important during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

  • Donors are thoroughly screened for travel, household health, and risk factors for Covid-19.  

  • Donor milk is pasteurized to kill any bacteria and viruses present in the milk. Research has shown that Covid-19 is killed during Holder pasteurization. 

  • After pasteurization, milk is tested by a third-party laboratory to ensure it is free of bacteria.  

  • NWMMB’s processing rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized multiple times each day. Our team follows guidelines from the FDA and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America to assure optimal practice and safety.

Check out our video interview with Fox12 News regarding milk donation options during Covid-19.