mothers milk bank recipient

donor milk offers all of the benefits of human milk for infants and children, including:

  • Optimal nutrition
  • Easy digestibility
  • Infection-fighting
  • Promotion of growth and healing of tissue

  • In some cases, donor milk can be the sole source of nutrition that allows growth and development for infants with allergies.

who uses it

Most of our recipients are infants in neonatal intensive care units. Doctors also refer infants:

  • failing to thrive on formula
  • facing life-threatening diseases or conditions
  • with failing immune systems or catastrophic diseases
  • whose mothers can’t keep up the milk to nourish multi-birth babies
  • whose mothers aren’t producing enough milk during the first week of life
  • whose mothers aren’t able to produce enough milk for their baby’s demand
  • adopted by families who believe in the value of breast milk
  • born to mothers whose breast milk isn't suitable for consumption, either because of disease or due to prescription medications that pass through the milk

If you’re an inpatient — meaning that your baby is currently a hospital patient — then the hospital can provide from its stock of donor human milk, or it can place an order for a new supply. Prescribing doctors need to submit this Hospital Request Form to Mothers’ Milk Bank.
If your baby is in the hospital, the hospital can order the milk as a standard nutritional service. The hospital purchasing unit can submit the Hospital Request Form with a purchase order identification number. Hospitals in California must have a tissue bank license in order to provide donor human milk to their patients.

receiving breast milk

Donor human milk is shipped directly from our facility. Local families may save the cost of shipping by picking up the frozen donor human milk directly from Mothers’ Milk Bank.
If we get your prescription before 11am on Monday-Thursday, we can ship that afternoon if our supply permits. Typically it arrives by 10:30am the next morning (contingent on the FedEx schedule). If the order is received in the afternoon, we can ship the donor milk the next day. Weekend delivery is possible in emergencies. All the donor human milk supplied to you has been pasteurized or heat treated, bacterial tested and then frozen.

how to order It milk

Interested in ordering donor milk for your baby? Just follow these simple steps. If you’re an outpatient — meaning that your baby is not currently a hospital patient — your doctor will need to submit a prescription to Mothers’ Milk Bank for donor human milk. Please make sure to include all of the below information on the prescription.
1. Must have name of infant, address and diagnoses for the milk
2. Parent name and phone number or email
3. Request “donor human milk”
4. How many ounces per day per weeks or months is needed
5. Prescriptions must be written on a prescription note pad and signed off by your doctor or nurse practitioner


We package all milk from Mothers’ Milk Bank in tamper-proof sealed glass bottles. In addition to the human donor milk, each package includes:
• Instructions on thawing, storing, and using the milk
• An invoice for the processing of the milk, shipping and handling charges (payable to Mothers’ Milk Bank)
• A FedEx Ground mailing slip to use to return the cooler, so we may send you subsequent shipments


Place all bottles in the rear of the freezer where it’s cold enough to keep ice cream firm. In the hospital, the freezer should register -20° C (-4°F). Keep milk away from the door where the temperature changes.


We recommend using donor milk within 24 hours of thawing. For optimal defrosting, place the frozen bottle in the refrigerator for an overnight, slow thaw. To thaw quickly, put the bottle in a container of warm water (not to exceed 37°C/98°F). Take care to keep the water below the lid to avoid the possibility of seepage and contamination. Whatever you do, do not microwave the donor human milk.

paying for Your Order

Our processing fee is $15.00 per 4-ounce bottle for hospitals and outpatient recipients and $9.50 per 2-ounce bottle for hospitals only. Shipping charges are additional. Not all insurance or Medi-Cal patients will be eligible for coverage or reimbursement. Each patient's reimbursement or coverage will be determined on a case by case basis. The Mothers' Milk Bank will work with the family and physician to get reimbursement or coverage. It is expected that the family will pay for the milk if the insurance will not cover the cost. Mothers’ Milk Bank is actively advocating for policies to ensure that all insurance companies cover donor milk for families who need it. To find out if your insurance covers this cost, call your provider. The Milk Bank will gladly offer extra support for this matter upon request.

1887 Monterey Road, Suite 105-110, San Jose, CA 95112