Donor QualificationsPlease Read our Qualifications Carefully

To Qualify as a Donor


  • You are in good general health
  • Your baby is doing well and gaining weight
  • You are willing to undergo a blood test and drug abuse test
  • You do not take medication on a regular basis
  • You do not smoke
  • Your home freezer reaches the appropriate temperature to properly freeze the milk
  • You are willing to donate at least 600 ounces of breast milk

Exclusion Criteria

Potential donors are excluded based on the following clinical issues unique to human milk

  • Receipt of blood transfusion or blood products within the last 4 months.
  • Receipt of an organ or tissue transplant within the last 12 months.
  • Ears or other body piercings with other than single-use instruments, tattooing from a non-regulated site, permanent makeup applied by needle, or an accidental stick with a contaminated needle within the last 12 months.
  • Daily use of more than 2 ounces of hard liquor, or its equivalent, in 24 hours.
  • Daily use of over-the-counter medications or systemic prescriptions not permitted for donor milk.
  • Regular use of mega dose vitamins [at least 20 times the RDA] and/or herbal products used as medication, including vitamin/herb combinations.
  • Total vegetarians [vegans] who do not supplement their diet with vitamin B12.
  • Use of illegal drugs.
  • Use of tobacco or nicotine products, including gum and patches.
  • Chronic infections [for example, HIV, HTLV, malaria, active TB, etc.], a history of hepatitis B or C, or a history of leukemia or lymphoma, or treatment for any other cancer within the last 3 years.
  • A sexual partner in the past 12 months who is at risk for HUV, HTLV, or hepatitis [including anyone with hemophilia or anyone who has used a needle for injection of illegal or non-prescription drugs].
  • A sexual partner in the past 12 months who has had within the same time period tattoos with non-sterile needles or multi-person use dyes from a non-regulated site, permanent makeup applied with non-sterile needles, ear or other body parts pierced with other than single-use instruments, or been accidentally stuck with a contaminated needle.
  • Incarceration or incarceration of sexual partner for more than 72 consecutive hours in the last 12 months.
  • Receipt of human pituitary-derived growth hormone, dura mater [or brain covering] graft, bovine insulin, or has a family history of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
  • Spent a total of 3 months or more in the United Kingdom between 1990 and 1996.
  • Spent a total of five years or more in Europe from 1980 to the present.
  • Current or former US military personnel, civilian military employees or their dependents who resided at US military bases in Northern Europe [Germany, UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands] for a total of six months or more from 1980 through 1990, or elsewhere in Europe [Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, and Italy] from 1980 through 1996.
  • Received a blood or blood components transfusion in the UK or France since 1980.

Use of the following medications is acceptable: human insulin, thyroid replacement hormones, nasal sprays, asthma inhalers, topical treatments, eye drops, progestin-only birth control products, and low-dose estrogen birth control products [Under 25mcg estrogen] including Loestrin 1/20, Alesse, Lybrel, Yaz, and Mercette.
The use of other medications on temporary basis may be acceptable if the appropriate deferral period is followed. For most medications, the deferral is five times the half life of the medication. All use of medications must be reported and approved.

Donors are instructed to report all illness in the household to International Milk Bank. The Medical Director may temporarily disqualify the donor for illness or medication issues. After a temporary disqualification, milk donation can resume at the discretion of the Medical Director.

Active donors are temporarily disqualified from donating milk under the following conditions:

  • During any acute infection, including clinical mastitis, and monilial and fungal infections of the nipple or breast requiring medical treatment.
  • During the 4-week period following a case of rubella or varicella [chicken pox] in the household starting from when the lesions crust over.
  • During the one-week period following a reactivation of latent infection with herpes simplex virus [HSV], or varicella zoster [shingles] of the breast or thorax starting from when the lesions crust over.
  • During the 12 hour period following consumption of alcohol [hard liquor, beer or wine]
  • During the 21 days after the donor or anyone whom she has household contact has received the smallpox vaccination without complications, or until the scab has separated spontaneously, whichever occurs later.
  • During the 8 days following donors or donors partner’s receipt of a tattoo administered in a regulated site using sterile needles and single-use only dyes.
  • During the 28 days following donors receipt of live virus vaccine for measles, mumps, or rubella.
  • During the 3 months following receipt of any live virus vaccine including chicken pox, rotavirus, polio, typhoid, but excluding seasonal or swine flu vaccines.
  • Consumption of any over-the-counter or prescription medication including self-prescribed or physician-prescribed mega-dose vitamins, homeopathic remedies, galactogogues, and herbs is reported to the milk bank. The Milk Bank Director may temporarily disqualify the donor.

Screening blood tests [ HIV – 0, 1, and 2, HTLV-1 and 2, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B surface antigen and syphilis] are to be conducted by a certified CLIA laboratory within 6 months of becoming a donor. Negative test results do not require confirmatory testing. Positive or indeterminate result of a screening test is reason for deferral and or donor disqualification. Donors are deferred indefinitely for any positive result on a diagnostic/confirmatory serological test. A donor deferred for positive blood testing is to be referred to a health care provider of her choice for follow-up, and a copy of the lab work sent to her. Any milk from this potential donor, which has been held is disposed of according to institutional protocols.

All donors are screened for drug abuse via a urine test at the same appointment time and location as the blood test. Tests Include: amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids (marijuana), cocaine, methadone (Dolophine®), opiates (codeine, morphine only), and phencyclidine (PCP) propoxyphene.
Stored Milk

Donors may choose to express and freeze the milk for a period of several weeks in order to donate a sufficient quantity of milk (approximately 500 ounces of milk or more). If a mother has stored frozen expressed milk that is less than 6 months old in the freezer, she can still donate that milk as long as the milk has been kept frozen.

THEN you are LIKELY to qualify as a breast milk donor