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Receiving donated breastmilk

There are differing reasons as to why your baby may need donor breast milk, such as breast surgery, insufficient glandular tissue, medical conditions not suitable to breast feed or a premature, unwell baby that requires more than you have been able to produce.

For the premature baby, research has shown a great reduction in the incidences of necrotizing enterocolitis with the use of donor milk. For the baby unable to receive mothers' own milk, it can help with the gut microbiome, gut health and immune system.

When will I receive milk? There can be a wait of up to two weeks for donor milk if we do not have any spare donors on hand and to organise paperwork. With more donor awareness we hope to reduce this average time down. However, this is not always the case, we often have milk on hand too, so please ask us as soon as you may think you need milk, especially if you have had previous difficulty breast feeding or a permanent circumstance such as a mastectomy. 

The World Health Organisation in their published paper, Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding 2003, stated the following; The vast majority of mothers can and should breastfeed, just as the vast majority of infants can and should be breastfed. Only under exceptional circumstances can a mother’s milk be considered unsuitable for her infant. For those few health situations where infants cannot, or should not, be breastfed, the choice of the best alternative – expressed breast milk from an infant’s own mother, breast milk from a healthy wet-nurse or a human-milk bank, or a breast-milk substitute fed with a cup, which is a safer method than a feeding bottle and teat – depends on individual circumstances.

If you are interested in receiving donor milk, please fill in the online Recipient waiver form below.

Mothers Milk NZ Trust recommends home pasteurising of donor breast milk as a precautionary measure but leaves the choice up to the individual.



We're here to help you navigate through this process.  Please contact us with any further questions. 


You'll find lots of helpful information on our FAQ page including questions such as:

- Which donor milk do I use first?

- What does it cost to receive donor breastmilk ? 

- How do I pasteurise/flash heat breast milk?

- What is CMV?  

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