There is high demand for pasteurized breastmilk in the Northwest, and Northwest Mothers Milk Bank works to quickly distribute it to as many infants as we can. Your ongoing donations are greatly needed, and they help us achieve our goal of providing this life-saving resource to every baby in need! On behalf of the hospitals and infants we serve, thank you for donating love.
How Do I Become A Donor?
Complete a medical questionnaire and forms
Visit a lab at no
cost to you
Find a milk drop near you
or we’ll ship it for free
Our friendly, knowledgeable screening staff are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). They are available to answer questions throughout the entire screening and donation process.
We start with a short phone interview, during which you will be asked questions about your general health, medication/supplement use, and overall breastfeeding experience.
2. Complete online paperwork
The next step is sharing more details about your medical history and lifestyle, as well as signing medical consent forms. With your permission, we will contact your healthcare providers to confirm your health history and the health of your baby.
3. Get blood work
The final step in the screening process is to complete blood work. You will be screened for HIV, HTLV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis. The milk bank will coordinate and pay for your blood work.
4. Make your donation
Once approved, you can drop off your frozen milk at our office in Tigard or at a milk drop near you. If there are no milk drops near you, we will send you a container to ship your milk to us free of charge.
There is no cost to you to become a milk donor. We do not pay donors for their breastmilk. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) prohibits compensation of donors due to ethical and safety issues. As a nonprofit organization, this also allows us to keep processing fees as low as possible.
Who Is Eligible?
Topical creams and ointments
Vaginal creams and gels
Oral contraceptives containing progestin only (“mini pill”)
Inhalers for asthma
Non-drowsy antihistamines without added decongestants
Our milk donors are healthy, lactating individuals with a surplus of milk that is not needed for their own baby.
Donors must be able to donate at least 100 ounces of milk for their first donation. There is no minimum for bereaved donors (those donating after a loss).
Certain medications and supplements, including some vitamins, may be appropriate for you and your baby, but may not meet the HMBANA milk donation standards. Most herbal supplements are not approved for milk donation. Moderate caffeine use is acceptable (up to 3 servings per day). Ongoing use of tobacco and marijuana products is not approved for milk donation. For questions about specific medications, give us a call.
If you have a question about how COVID-19 impacts milk donation, read our info page here.
Medications accepted for milk donation include:
Because we serve a very fragile population, we ask our donors to follow conservative alcohol guidelines.
The requirements are as follows:
No daily use.
One serving requires a 6-hour wait to pump milk for donation; two servings require a 12-hour wait.
A Milk Storage Guide
You may donate milk that has been stored for up to 4 months in a refrigerator freezer and up to 6 months in a deep freezer. Milk pumped prior to donor approval may be accepted for donation.
Best practices to ensure the safety of your milk:
Wash your hands before handling your pump.
Use a new, single-use breastmilk storage bag for each pumping session.
Label your milk with the date pumped. No additional information is needed.
Do not overfill the bags.
Donate Your Milk
Once you’ve completed the Donor Screening process, there are many ways to donate your milk.
Our Milk Drops are convenient locations throughout the Pacific Northwest where approved donors can drop off their milk donation. These drop sites keep the milk frozen and safe until it can be transferred to Northwest Mothers Milk Bank in Tigard, OR.
If you are in the Portland metro area, you can drop your milk off directly at the milk bank.
If you live further away and do not have a Milk Drop site near you, fill out this form and we will send you complimentary shipping materials so that you can safely ship your milk to us. This form is for use by approved donors only.
Are you ready to donate your milk?