Promoting the Health of South Carolina Babies by Providing Access to Safe, Pasteurized Donor Human Milk
"South Carolina Milk, for South Carolina Babies"
With support from the South Carolina Neonatal Consortium and the South Carolina Birth Outcomes Initiative, the Medical University of South Carolina has developed the first donor human milk bank in the state.
SC breastfeeding mothers with surplus milk supply are invited to become MMBSC milk donors to provide pasteurized milk to SC infants for whom mother’s milk supply is limited. The milk bank initially will provide milk to all SC hospitalized very low birth weight infants.
The MMBSC is approved as a developing milk bank by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. It is a non-profit milk bank housed at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Meet Our Team
Dr. Alison Chapman, Medical Director
Mary Kay Colliton, Milk Bank Director
Connie Dickey, Milk Bank Technician
Lindsay Millonzi, Milk Bank Coordinator
Be a Donor!
You are likely to qualify as a donor if:
- You are generally healthy
- You do not take medications or herbal supplements on a regular basis (with exceptions)
- You do not smoke
- You are willing to undergo a blood test
- You are able to arrange for transportation of your milk to a depot (drop-off site)
- If your milk could be delivered to a baby within one year of pump date
You are not eligible to donate milk if:
- You have a positive blood test result for HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B or C, or Syphilis
- You or your sexual partner is at risk for HIV
- You use illegal drugs
- You smoke or use tobacco products including nicotine patches or nicotine gum
- You have received an organ transplant, tissue transplant, or a blood transfusion in the last four months
- You regularly consume more than two alcoholic drinks per day
- Between 1980-1996, you were in the United Kingdom for more than 3 months or in Europe for more than 5 years
Three Easy Steps to Becoming a Milk Donor!
- Complete a 10-15 minute phone screening.
- Complete and return an informational packet; this will include a form for you and your baby’s doctor to fill out.
- Have a complimentary blood test done at LabCorp*.
*Be sure to do the phone screening BEFORE you go for the test.
Collect, Store, and Drop Off Your Milk!
We are only able to accept milk for donation that is stored in single-use bags or bottles.
- Always wash your hands before expressing or handling your milk
- All pump parts that come into contact with skin should be removed and cleaned on a regular basis
- Milk should be refrigerated within 30 minutes of pumping
- Milk can be kept in the refrigerator no more than 24 hours before being frozen. You can add expressed milk into the same bag throughout the day, as long as the bag is consistently refrigerated and then frozen within 24 hours
- Wait a minimum 12 hours before pumping if you consumed an alcoholic beverage
Labeling the Milk
All bags should be labeled with the following:
Donor ID Number
Pumping Powerful Milk
As you breastfeed and the breast empties, the milk goes from being thin, lower-calorie ‘foremilk’ to thick, higher-calorie ‘hindmilk’. Although foremilk is thin, it contains critical antibodies. The hindmilk is calorie-rich and is incredibly beneficial for low birth weight babies to gain weight! Please be sure to include foremilk and hindmilk so the babies receiving the milk can grow.
- Store milk in freezer until you are ready to donate
- The best practice is if your donation reaches the Milk Bank freezers by 3 months after the earliest date of pumping (if milk is stored in a deep freezer within 6 months is fine). If you have milk older than 3 months, please contact the milk bank to discuss whether you should donate this milk.
- Remember to refrigerate or freeze your milk within 30 minutes of pumping.
- You may refrigerate your milk for up to 24 hours before freezing
- Check freezer temperatures regularly
- Milk must be pumped within the first year postpartum
Dropping Off Your Milk
Getting Your Blood Test
In order to provide the safest milk possible for preterm and critically ill babies, we require all donor moms to complete a blood test to screen for harmful viruses. The Mother’s Milk Bank of South Carolina will cover the cost of these tests. All tests will be completed at LabCorp.
The lab will test for:
- HIV I & II
- RPR (syphilis)
- HTLV I & II (Human T-Lymphotrophic Virus)
- Hepatitis B (HbsAg)
- Hepatitis C (HCV)
Before taking the blood test, please be sure to complete your initial phone screening and obtain your Donor ID number.
Find your nearest LabCorp: https://www.labcorp.com/wps/portal/findalab
Getting Your Blood Test
In order to complete your file and be approved for donation, we will need your completed informational packet, lab work, and health forms from your healthcare provider. The approval process can take anywhere from one to four weeks.