How to store or donate breast milk

By Drum Digital
08 July 2014

Are you expressing more breast milk than your baby needs? You could store it for those times you simply can’t be with them or you could help babies in need by donating it to a milk bank. We tell you how to store and donate breast milk.

How to donate

There are several milk banks in South Africa which specialise in collecting and supplying breast milk to babies in hospitals, orphanages and care centres. According to iThemba Lethu milk bank in KwaZulu-Natal, at least four donors are needed to help feed one baby. All donors are screened before donations are accepted and milk is pasteurised before given to babies.

How to store breast milk

It’s always important to store milk in a sterile container – either a glass jar with a lid or a hard plastic container with a lid. Use masking tape to label containers and indicate the date the milk was expressed and, if you plan on donating it, your name and donor number. Cool and freeze the milk within at least 24 hours. And remember to leave space in the container for the milk to expand when using a glass jar. Breast milk can be frozen in a fridge freezer for three months and six months in a chest/deep freezer.

When to donate breast milk

According to several studies, the more milk you feed your baby or express, the more milk your body will produce. Therefore you can donate breast milk even while breastfeeding your own baby.

Where to donate

Contact any of the following milk banks to find out how to donate:

1. Milk Matters

Tel: 021-659-5599

Cell: 082-895-8004

Email: info@milkmattters.or

2. South African Breast Milk Reserve 

Tel: 011-482-1920

Email info@sabr.org.za

3. iThemba Lethu

Tel: 031-261-7723

-Londiwe Dlomo

Sources: milkmatters.org, sabr.org.za, ithembalethu.org.za

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