How It Works
One of the unique things about Helping Hands Milk Bank is our ability to accept donor milk from all over the contiguous United States.
Helping Hands is a virtual milk bank utilizing the power of the internet to allow a qualified donor to make her breast milk donation from the comfort of her own home. Once you become an eligible candidate for donation, Helping Hands will supply pre-qualification testing materials consisting of a blood test to screen for various viruses and a DNA cheek swab to match incoming milk.
Helping Hands will also provide breast milk storage containers and shipping supplies, all at no charge to the qualified donor. The qualification process generally takes about 3 weeks and is good for 123 days before re-qualification testing is required. It is our hope to receive a minimum of 150 ounces once an eligible candidate becomes a qualified breast milk donor.
It’s easy and convenient:
* Free at home testing
* Free breast milk storage bags
* Free shipping from home
Do I qualify?
* Do you have extra breast milk?
* Are you and your baby generally healthy?
* Do you avoid taking medications & smoking?
What We Do
Your valuable breast milk donation will be used by Prolacta Bioscience, a for-profit company, to make human milk fortifier, standardized human milk and other human milk nutritional products. These 100% human milk products are sold to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the United States for critically ill premature babies. While a mother’s breast milk can provide for a large percentage of her premature baby’s needs, premature infants need more protein and calories than are naturally occurring in mother’s milk.
Through consumption of concentrated human milk protein, in the form of a human milk fortifier from 100% human milk by Prolacta Bioscience, critically ill preemies are able to get the nutrition they need to grow while being fed exclusively human milk. Also, when mother’s own milk is not available in the NICU, pasteurized human milk is made from your donation and can be used to ensure a 100% human milk diet in the NICU. This milk provides standardized nutrition when a mom’s own milk is not available and contains a minimum of 20 calories/fluid ounce. Donor milk and mom’s own milk can vary widely, so standardized nutrition makes it easier for the healthcare professional to provide beneficial nutrition to the baby.
The 2012 policy on human milk and breastfeeding issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics states that they recommend the use of human milk for all preterm infants, whether mother’s milk or pasteurized donor milk, when mother’s milk is unavailable.