Milk donation after loss

We are so sorry you are going through this, and we are here to offer you support if you decide to donate or suppress your lactation.  There are a number of physical and emotional changes associated with milk production. 

Our team are here to guide you through the screening process and work closely with bereavement teams across the country to ensure that the process is as simple as possible. The first step is to contact us or your health professional, we will then talk you through the donor recruitment process and answer any questions you may have. 

Who will receive the milk?

Donor human milk is given to vulnerable premature and low-birth weight infants who do not have access to their own mother’s milk.

There are many reasons why breast milk can help premature babies in particular protecting against Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC).  It offers protection from infection and is easier to digest.

After pasteurisation, milk is distributed across the Southwest Network of Special Care Units to give to vulnerable, sick, premature babies and occasionally to those babies whose mums are unable to provide breast milk.  The milk may also be given to term babies if clinically indicated.

Storing breast milk for donation

Breast milk is collected in small bottles and frozen. You may already have stored milk that you would like collected or we provide you with everything you need to collect milk. Milk can be frozen for up to 8 weeks before we need to send it for pasteurisation and can be collected from your home.

How to donate

Please get in touch or ask your health professional.  

If you are interested in donating your milk, a health questionnaire and blood test are required.  The milk is screened before and after pasteurisation before being distributed.

Click here to read the health questionnaire.

We shall support you throughout your milk donating journey.

Thank you

“Donating my milk allowed me to work with my body’s natural response and express my milk, despite losing my baby. It gave me the opportunity to help other vulnerable babies that had a chance at life. The whole process helped me to deal with the trauma, gave me a sense of purpose, and encouraged my body to heal. The team were amazing and supported me throughout!” Emily, Devon