WHAT IS DONOR MILK AND HOW DO I KNOW IT'S SAFE?
What is donor milk?
Donor milk is breast milk that is provided by healthy nursing mothers. Donor milk allows more infants to receive breast milk and the health benefits it provides. New mothers may have difficulty learning how to pump for or nurse their babies, while some newborns are born preterm or have other medical issues that keep them in the hospital longer than expected. Donor milk can support an infant’s nutritional needs during these times. Research has shown that all babies benefit greatly from receiving breast milk, especially preterm infants.
Who are the donors?
Medolac’s donors are nursing mothers who want to help families who need milk. They go through a strict screening process and the milk they provide is thoroughly tested. Women who are interested in becoming donors must fill out a complete health history. Donors who meet the requirements then go to a LabCorp near their home to have a blood sample taken to verify no infections are present. After the donor passes her blood tests, she is approved to provide milk to Medolac.
But that’s not the end of testing. When Medolac receives the donor’s milk, it is tested in Medolac’s lab to make sure it is safe. We test for many things, including bacteria, drugs, and alcohol, and make sure there is nothing added to the milk like water or other types of milk. The donors will get tested twice in their first year of donation.
What happens next?
After the milk passes all testing it is blended together in strict laboratory conditions and standardized so your baby will receive the exact nutrition listed on the label. It is placed into flexible pouches and heat treated.
Our special heat treatment (also called thermal processing) is the same food industry approved process used to make infant formula. This thermal process creates donor milk that does not need to be refrigerated until after it is opened. The milk is “commercially sterile,” meaning that all bacteria has been destroyed. This process ensures the safety and nutrition of our donor milk. Heat processing kills bacteria but it may also decrease certain active ingredients. That’s why it is important for you to provide your own milk when possible. Your baby can benefit from those important ingredients.
For babies in neonatal intensive care (NICU)
Your breast milk is vital to your baby’s wellness. But sometimes having a baby in the hospital can lead to milk supply problems. If your milk supply has decreased, your baby’s doctor may want to give your baby donor milk to add to your own pumped milk. Your milk has many special ingredients that make it a valuable part of your baby’s recovery. Medolac donor milk is provided to add to your own milk so that there is always plenty of breast milk to support your baby’s growth.
For full term babies
You may not have much milk for a few days after giving birth. This is normal. Colostrum is a thick milky substance that will appear first before your milk comes in. It is high in anti-infective properties to protect your baby. Your hospital may have a policy to give donor milk while you get started learning to put your baby to breast. Giving donor milk does not mean the hospital doesn’t want you to nurse. It simply means your baby can receive breast milk before your milk has come in.
What is in breast milk?
Each drop of breast milk contains thousands of valuable ingredients, including protein, lactose, antibodies, vitamins, minerals and even the hormone oxytocin (known as the “love hormone!”).
Are Medolac products researched?
We have consistently researched safety and quality of our products since 2012. Of course, we can’t take all the credit for the lifesaving properties of human milk! But we are committed to making our human milk-based products safe, affordable, and easy to use.
Is Medolac regulated by the FDA?
Medolac Laboratories is a federally registered food facility and has annual inspections by the FDA. We are committed to lowering the cost of donor milk so all babies in need will have access.
How can I produce enough milk for my baby?
It is important to pump or nurse often. By removing milk on a regular basis, either by nursing or pumping, you will stimulate your milk production.