802.276.0030 info@vtdonormilk.com

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I donate milk?
  • We love to hear from people who are interested in donating milk! We work with the Mothers Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE) and the Mothers Milk Bank Colorado for pasteurizing our donor milk, so we would ask you to get in touch with one of them to become an approved donor. They have an easy and free 4-step process to become approved. If you want to take a look at their websites milkbankne.org or rmchildren.org there is a button on their homepage “donate milk” which will take you to the process and contact number for each milk bank.  We do ask that when you contact them you mention that you’ve been in touch with us at the Vermont Donor Milk Center.  Once they approve you we would be happy to arrange a time to collect your milk and ship it to them for pasteurization.

Thank you for helping to make milk available to all babies!  It is truly a gift of gold!  

What are the qualifications for donating milk?
There are four easy steps to donate breast milk (from mmbne.org): 

  1. Complete a 15-minute phone screening.
  2. Fill out forms.
  3. Get a blood test (we pay for it).
  4. Make arrangements with us for delivery of your breast milk (at no cost to you).

Our screening usually takes 2-3 weeks to complete. (We can do the screening in English, Spanish, Portuguese or Crioulo).

You are probably eligible to donate if:

  • You are in good health.
  • You have breast milk that is truly extra, or cannot be used by your baby (bereaved and surrogate mothers are welcome to become breast milk donors).
  • Your breast milk was put in the freezer within 48 hours of being pumped.
  • You are only using medications, herbal supplements, or other supplements approved for use by milk donors. Include those meds on the secure pre-screening form and we’ll get back to you about them.
  • You are able to donate a minimum of 150 ounces (there is no minimum for bereaved donors).

You are not eligible to donate breast milk if:

  • You have or are being treated for HIV, HTLV, hepatitis B or C, or syphilis.
  • You or your sexual partner is at risk for HIV, HTLV, hepatitis B or C, or syphilis.
  • You have used recreational drugs in the past year, including marijuana.
  • You smoke or use tobacco products.
  • You drink alcohol daily.
  • You have spent extensive time in France, Ireland, or the United Kingdom during certain time periods, or you have received a blood transfusion in one of those countries (read this explanation or call us for details).

I am in need of milk. How can I apply?
No application is necessary to get milk. If you need more than 40oz you will need a prescription from your baby’s doctor, we can help you get this if you’d like us to. Give us a call to make an appointment to pick up milk. We are open 7-days a week, by appointment only. 802-276-0030

 

How much should I expect to pay?

The full price for our milk is 3.4oz bottles $17 and 4oz bottles $20. In keeping with our mission to equalize nutrition for ALL babies, we have two different grants available for folks who are not able to afford the full price.  One is income-dependent, and the other is not. Call us to discuss financial assistance. No one who has asked for financial support has ever been turned away.

What are some of the most common reasons babies need donor milk?
 

  • Slow weight gain
  • Failure to thrive
  • Difficulty latching
  • Formula intolerance
  • Tongue tie/lip tie
  • Preterm birth
  • Maternal health complications
  • Adoption/surrogacy
  • LGBTQ families
  • Low milk supply
  • “Bridge milk” until breastfeeding is established
How can I contribute to your mission?

The VDMC is primarily funded by community donations, and run by volunteers. If you’re interested in becoming a donor please visit our website vtdonormilk.com/donate. 

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer please email us at info@vtdonormilk.com 

How much milk do you typically prescribe to new families in need of milk?
We don’t want you to have too much or too little milk. We will work with each family to determine how much milk they will need for each feeding, how much they will need for each day, and how many days they would like to pick up at each visit to the milk center. All the milk is pasteurized and frozen, so will need to be stored in a freezer once you bring it home.

    Is Financial Aid Available?

    Yes. In keeping with our mission to equalize nutrition for ALL babies, we have two different grants available for folks who are not able to afford the full price.  One is income dependent, and the other is not. Call us to discuss financial assistance. No one who has asked for financial support has ever been turned away.

      What is the Vermont Donor Milk Center?

      The Vermont Donor Milk Center (VDMC) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. Our mission is to supply lifesaving nutrition and food security to infants in the greater Vermont and Northern New York area by providing access, regardless of ability to pay, to pasteurized donor human milk. We offer crucial support and education of the health benefits of breastfeeding for families working to establish healthy feeding routines and striving to reach their lactation goals. 

       

      The VDMC works with families in need of supplementation for their baby(ies), we are a milk dispensary of  frozen pasteurized donor human milk. We source all our milk from Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) certified milk banks, primarily the Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast and the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation Mothers’ Milk Bank. HMBANA provides the rules and regulations of milk banking, sort of like the FDA for medications. The VDMC stores milk from these milk banks so local families have easier access to pasteurized donor human milk.

      What is the process for screening and testing milk that is donated?
      The VDMC is also a milk depot. Once interested milk donors have gone through the screening process with one of the milk banks, we can set up an appointment at the VDMC in Essex Jct to collect your frozen milk.  We will store it at the appropriate temperature until we have enough to ship to the milk bank for processing.  If you’re interested in becoming a donor please contact one of the milk banks we work with: Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast milkbankne.org or Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation Mothers’ Milk Bank rmchildren.org. Once donors are screened and approved as milk donors their frozen raw milk is shipped to one of these milk banks. The milk bank will pool 4-5 donors milk together, this decreases the chances of bacterial growth. They then pasteurize using the Holder method of pasteurization, and flash freeze the milk.  One bottle from each lot of milk is sent to an independent laboratory where it’s tested for bacteria. Once those lab results are complete that lot of milk is ready to be distributed to families.

       

      Have More Questions?

      Please use the form below to contact us today. Thanks for your interest in the Vermont Donor Milk Center! 

      We look forward to serving you. 

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