How Does a Donor Milk Bank Operate?
The WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank screens potential donors - very similar to the way blood banks screen donors.
Donors must be non-smokers and must not drink alcohol within 12 hours of pumping milk for the Milk Bank. There are also restrictions on the consumption of medications.
Milk is transported to the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank in a frozen state. After it thaws, the milk is pooled and heat-treated to kill any bacteria or viruses.
The Milk Bank processes the product in 2-, 4-, or 8 oz. jars and refreeze it for storage. It is dispensed only after a sample is cultured and shows no sign of bacterial growth.
The milk is then frozen and shipped overnight-express to hospitals and to recipients' homes.