For Milk Donors
The Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes is a
non-profit human milk bank that serves the Western
Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin and Illinois.
Donor Screening Process
- Complete the online donor interest form. We will reach out to complete a 10-15 minute phone screening. This “prescreen” will cover general health information, milk storage, lifestyle factors, and more. If you are a candidate for donation, we will send you our full donor application.
- Complete the full donor application and consent forms. Please include as much detail as possible! We will review the application and contact your medical providers.
- Milk Bank WGL will arrange for blood testing at no cost to you. It typically takes up to 7 business days to get your results.
- Once you are approved, we will give you a donor number! You can expect a call from one of our donor screeners with your donor number and drop off instructions. We will help you find a convenient depot location to drop off your frozen breast milk or find other shipping/transport options.
The screening process takes 1-3 weeks to complete. Our goal is to make the screening process as convenient as possible for our donors!
Milk donors are healthy lactating women who have extra milk and want to help other babies in need. Milk donors:
- Plan to donate at least 100 ounces to the milk bank for their first drop-off
- Store milk in single use breast milk storage bags or containers labeled with the pump date
- Donate milk that has been stored for less than 9 months in a deep freezer or 6 months in a standard freezer
- Donate milk that was pumped before their baby’s second birthday
- Contact the milk bank if there are any changes in health status or when taking new medications
Donating After a Loss
Following a pregnancy or infant loss, lactation can be encouraged or suppressed. Whatever a mother decides, Milk Bank WGL strives to support each bereavement family through the donation process and beyond. A beautiful mural featuring glass mosaic artwork covers an entire wall in our milk bank lobby. Custom stars are hand painted with the name and birthday of each participating baby. Families also have the option of submitting a photo of their baby to be circulated in a digital picture frame that hangs next to the memorial wall. Each year, Milk Bank WGL holds an open house and candle lighting ceremony for our star families. In addition, each family is invited to come to the milk bank to hang their baby’s star. Milk Bank WGL is able to accommodate large groups of friends and family (up to 30 people) for this private event.
While some families cherish the opportunity to hang their baby’s star(s), others prefer to have us hang the star(s) and send pictures. Milk Bank WGL is always honored to support the decisions of our donor families. We have found that some bereaved mothers do not know about the option of milk donation until it is too late. We are working to increase educational opportunities regarding bereavement milk donation by offering in-service presentations to participating hospitals. Mothers who suffer perinatal loss should be given the opportunity to make the choice that feels right to them.
For more information about our Poppy’s Dream program, please contact our Program Coordinator, Susan (firstname.lastname@example.org), or our Relationship Manager, Jinnie (email@example.com).