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Donor Milk


What is Donor Milk?

Donor milk comes from people who are screened and breastfeeding their own pēpi. The milk is pasteurised to make it the safest option of all the supplements if a mother’s own milk is insufficient or unavailable.


Why  choose donor milk?

For the first 6 months of life, the most suitable food for a baby is breast/human milk alone. A mother's own milk, even in the tiniest quantities, is usually the best food for her baby. The World Health Organisation recommends the use of donor human milk as the feeding of choice, if mother’s own milk is insufficient, unavailable or unsuitable for consumption.

Who can access the milk?

The donor milk is for the pēpi of the communities, or those who had or are receiving care, within the MidCentral district.


What is the cost?

Milk is FREE for the recipients.

The cost of providing pasteurised human milk is substantial, however we are grateful for the support we have received, which enables us to provide our donor milk free of charge. 


Process of receiving donor milk:

Ideally you'll have discussed your need for donor milk with your midwife, lactation consultant, GP or Well Child Provider, and they can make contact with us for you. Or you can contact us directly.


We will work together to arrange the amount of frozen milk you require and the length of time you will require it for.

It can be a matter of just a few feeds, days or weeks depending on the circumstances.


We usually issue a maximum of 7 days supply at any one time. 

We usually review recipients needs weekly.

If you would like some one-on-one support with a lactation consultant, we can help. We have funding available thanks to Sargood Bequest that enables us to provide free lactation consults to our recipients.  Please let us know if you would like this support.

Do we have enough milk?

In an ideal world, we would have enough milk for all pēpi that need donor milk, however supplies of donor milk may be limited at times. In these cases, we use our triage system prioritise feeding the smallest and most vulnerable pēpi first, while their mothers build up their own milk supplies. There are other rare circumstances where babies have no access to milk from their mothers. We would also like to help these babies have the gift of breast milk for as long as is feasible. 


Discuss with your midwife and consider recording on your birthing plan/wishlist that donor milk is your preferred choice in the unlikely event your pēpi requires supplemental feeding.

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