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Milk Bank FAQs

Must you live near Raleigh, N.C., to donate?
No! Our donors live all over the east coast and beyond!

What is your minimum donation?
It depends…
Local Donors: If you are willing to drop off your milk at a WakeMed location, the minimum first donation is 100 ounces. After your first donation, you may drop off any amount you wish.
Out-of-Town Donors: We ask out of town donors to send at least 200 ounces per shipment to ensure milk stays frozen during overnight shipment.

What medications exclude me from donating?
Medication guidelines protect the fragile infants we serve. Please contact us directly to see if your medications qualify.

Can I drink alcohol?
Yes. However, we require you to wait at least 6 hours for your first drink and 12 hours if you have a second drink before pumping and saving your milk for the milk bank. Daily consumption of more than one drink is not permissible while donating.

How old can the milk be?
Milk must be less than 6 months old. We accept milk pumped before your child’s second birthday.

How do I store the milk?
Milk must be stored in breast milk storage bags or single-use breast milk storage bottles provided by the hospital. Each container or bag must be labelled with your name and/or donor number and the date the milk was collected. Milk must be refrigerated within 30 minutes of pumping, frozen within 24 hours and stored away from the freezer door.

Are there special guidelines for pumping?

  • Before each pumping, wash your hands and nails thoroughly with warm soapy water for 30 seconds. Rinse well and dry with a clean towel. Do not handle your pump kit parts until you have washed your hands.
  • A new container must be used each time you pump, even if the container or bag isn’t full.
  • Do not fill containers past the greatest measurement printed on the bag or container; breast milk expands as it freezes and bags leak when they are over filled.
  • We can only accept complete pumpings. No foremilk pumpings please.

Can I receive compensation for milk donation?
No. As we are a non-profit milk bank, we do not provide compensation for milk donations, only the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped a baby in need.

Can I receive a tax deduction for milk donation?
No. The IRS does not allow a deduction for milk donation. However, you can deduct the cost of your breast pump and any mileage you incur transporting your milk to the milk bank.

What will you test my blood for?
We test for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HTLV & Syphilis

Do you accept frozen milk?
Yes, in fact ONLY frozen milk is accepted. Additionally, you must refrigerate or freeze your milk within 30 minutes of pumping. You may refrigerate your milk up to 24 hours before freezing.