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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

About the milk bank

Many babies will benefit from the generosity of breastfeeding mothers who do not receive any payment for their milk donations. Human milk banking is a service which collects, screens, processes and dispenses human milk donated by nursing mothers. Because the milk is dispensed to recipients, who are not related to the donor, every precaution is taken to provide a safe product.

  • Donor mothers undergo health and lifestyle screening, also blood tests for HIV, Hep B&C, Syphilis and HTLV
  • Milk is expressed hygienically in the donor’s home, frozen and collected regularly by milkbank staff
  • Milk is defrosted, pooled and bottled using tamperproof lids. NO mixed pooling between mothers
  • Milk is tested. Bottles with bacteria above recommended safe levels are discarded
  • Milk is heat treated to 62.5oC for 30 mins to ensure a completely safe product
  • Following pasteurisation, milk is refrozen (shelf life 3 months) Trackback labels ensure all milk can be traced and recorded

NICE website
The advice in the NICE guideline covers how milk banks should recruit, screen and support women who donate breast milk. You can visit the website in Related Links to left of this page.