Milk Depot

The Breastfeeding Center of Central PA is proud to be a Milk Depot and Dispensary location for the Mid-Atlantic Mother’s Milk Bank. Milk Depots enhance convenience for women interested in donating their breastmilk. Approved Donors can drop off their breast milk, and the Breastfeeding Center will handle storage and shipping to the Milk Bank. 


Up to 70% of mothers who have infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are unable to provide all of their baby’s needs, at least initially, despite adequate lactation support and effort.  The use of Pasteurized Human Donor Milk for medically necessary supplementation in the NICU is associated with decreased risks of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), sepsis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and retinopathy of prematurity. 


One of the greatest risks for infants born before 34 weeks gestation is developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious inflammation of their intestines that can lead to surgery, or poor long-term outcomes. The use of donor human milk decreases the risk of NEC by 80%.


Approximately 60% of the milk distributed by the Mid-Atlantic Milk Bank is used in the NICU setting. 

For information on how to become an approved Donor:


Who can donate?

If you answer yes to the following questions, you could be a donor, helping to nourish the most at-risk population of babies:

  • I am confident in my milk supply and have milk that exceeds my own baby’s needs. Or, I am a bereaved mother or surrogate.

  • I am willing to donate at least 150 ounces over a six-month period. This minimum amount is waived for bereaved mothers.

  • I am willing to undergo blood testing.

  • I am willing to practice exceptional hygiene and carry out careful pumping, labelling, and storage procedures.

  • The milk that I will donate was pumped on or before my baby’s first birthday.

  • The milk that I will donate was stored no longer than 3 months in a refrigerator/freezer combo or no longer than 6 months in a stand-alone freezer (chest or upright).

  • I do not use tobacco or marijuana products of any kind.

  • I do not regularly consume alcohol (occasional use is acceptable, and we ask that you refrain from pumping for the Milk Bank for 12 hours after the consumption of alcohol).

  • I do not take vitamin supplements that exceeds 20x the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

  • I do not consume herbal supplements including those contained in capsules, teas, supplemental/nutritional beverages/shakes, or energy drinks; please note that Mothers’ Milk Tea and fenugreek are not permitted.

  • I consume less than 24 ounces of caffeinated beverages a day.

  • I do not take high blood pressure medications.

  • I have no history of intimate contact with anyone at risk for HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.


If you agreed with all of the above statements, you may be eligible to donate. Certain chronic conditions, illnesses, medications, supplements, and other factors may prevent you from being a donor. If you would like to discuss your eligibility with us, or would like to begin the screening process, please contact us at or 412-281-4400.


How do I donate?

Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank strictly follows the donor screening guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Our screening personnel, who are all either nurses or lactation consultants, are committed to making the screening process as convenient as possible and are available to answer questions throughout the entire screening and donation process.

  1. Interview
    We start with a 15-minute phone interview in which you will be asked questions about your general health, medications/supplements use, and common reasons for ineligibility.

  2. Complete the Application Packet
    The second step is completion of the application packet (online or by mail) with more details about your medical history, medications, diet, and general health.

  3. Statements of health
    With your permission, we will contact your health care provider, and your baby’s doctor, for statements about your health and ability to donate milk.

  4. Get bloodwork
    After the initial screening steps above, eligible donors are asked to complete bloodwork, identical to testing done by blood banks. This includes HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B and C, and syphilis. The milk bank has several options to ensure that every donor can easily have her blood drawn close to her home.


Once approved, donors can drop off their frozen milk to our milk depot here at the Breastfeeding Center of Central PA.

Please note that bacterial culture testing is done after milk pasteurization. On rare occasions an approved donor may become ineligible due to repeated positive cultures. These positive results simply reflect normal skin bacteria and have nothing to do with the health of the donor or her baby.