Northwest Mothers Milk Bank is a not-for-profit donor milk bank established in 2008.
Our mission is based on the belief that every baby deserves access to human milk.
We carry out this mission through the safe collection and distribution of
human donor milk, education, advocacy, and research.
Northwest Mothers Milk Bank improves the health and survival of
the Northwest’s most vulnerable babies.
A NW region where every baby has access to the human milk they need.
We are a not-for-profit organization rooted in the Pacific Northwest community.
Founded by passionate and accomplished healthcare professionals who, through dedication and hard work, are increasing public knowledge and acceptance of donor milk use. Receiving both financial and in-kind support from local organizations and individuals since its inception in 2008, Northwest Mothers Milk Bank has grown into a thriving milk bank after opening its doors in 2013.
By collecting breastmilk from local donors, NWMMB pasteurizes the milk and distributes it to hospitals, babies, and families in communities across the Pacific Northwest.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MEDICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Helen Bellanca, MD, Health Share of Oregon
Isabella Knox, MEd., MD, Seattle Children's Hospital
Ann M. Loeffler, MD, Legacy Health System
Melissa Stawarz, RD, Providence Health System
Nan Dahlquist, MD, Hillsboro Pediatrics
Nicole Schmidt, MD, Providence Health System
Olivia Jones, MD, Creekside Medical
Stefanie Rogers, MD, Providence Health System
Sue Gadau, RD, Overlake Hospital
Laura Taylor, RD, Franciscan Health
Annette Magner, IBCLC, Oregon Health & Science University
Nicole Marshall, MD Oregon Health & Science University
Not shown: Laura Oltmann, Steve Peterson, and Stephanie Valverde
Julia - Lead Milk Processing Technician
Julieta - Processing Technician
Ashley - Processing Technician
Lucy - Processing Technician
Robin - Processing Technician
Trevor - Processing Assistant
FORMER BOARD DIRECTORS
Why Use Pasteurized Breastmilk?
Breastmilk is proven to be the best food for infants, with
benefits that extend well beyond basic nutrition. In addition
to containing the vitamins and nutrients an infant
needs for the first six months of life, breastmilk is packed with
disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illness.
Studies show many important health benefits of breastmilk, including resistance to disease and infection, along with prevention of diseases such as juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and some cancers later in life.
Breastmilk alone supports
optimal growth and
development for approximately the
first 6 months after birth.
Pasteurized breastmilk is prescribed by physicians
to help with:
Infants susceptible or recovering from NEC
Failure to thrive
Inborn errors of metabolism
Pre and Post-operative nutrition
Absent or insufficient lactation
Illness requiring temporary interruption of breastfeeding
Treatment for infectious diseases
Non-infectious intestinal disorders
ABOUT MILK BANKING
LEARN MORE HERE
Breastmilk gives a child the best start in life!
Milk banking gives a mother with excess breastmilk the opportunity to make a difference in her community by giving another child the chance to thrive. As a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), NWMMB follows strict guidelines to ensure the safety of donated milk through careful screening, laboratory testing, and pasteurization techniques. The milk can then be distributed to babies in need through a physician’s prescription.
When infants are born prematurely or traumatically, a mother's ability to lactate can be delayed or may not meet the nutritional needs of the newborn. When a mother’s own milk is not available, banked donor milk provides necessary nutrition until the infant's mother can provide her own milk. For many hospitals, using donor breastmilk has become the standard, particularly for premature infants who weigh less than 1.5 kg.
Breastmilk has been proven to be the best food for infants. The benefits of breastmilk extend well beyond basic nutrition. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs for the first six months of life, breastmilk is packed with disease-fighting substances to protect your baby from illness. It supports optimal growth and development for the first six months after birth.
Studies have shown important health benefits of breastmilk, including resistance to disease and infection and prevention of diseases such as juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and some cancers later in life.
Why Should You Donate Your Milk Instead of Selling It?
It is extremely important for us to know the breastmilk we receive is safe and that we are not taking away one infant’s breastmilk in order to sell it to another. To ensure that every infant’s health and nutrition necessities are being met, we require a signed release form from each infant’s physician before their mother can donate breastmilk. By not paying our donors for their breastmilk, we are able to say with the utmost confidence that the milk we receive meets every standard we set for our donated milk.
Mothers who donate breastmilk are generous, kind-hearted volunteers. They recognize the importance of breastmilk and how this unique gift can help infants in need. Donating your breastmilk ensures you have a large impact on your community, as families with the highest need for breastmilk often rely on donated milk to meet their child’s nutrient needs.
Donating to a not-for-profit milk bank assures that your milk reaches the infant who needs it immediately. When a mother sells her breastmilk, it will likely take weeks to reach a family in need.
NWMMB believes that breastmilk is not a commodity. A high quality donation and pasteurization process is essential to ensure a safe supply of breastmilk. At NWMMB, we will never risk the quality of our milk or the safety of our donors' babies by paying mothers for their breastmilk. Saving the lives of infants is the only incentive our donors have for donating their milk.