How to Get Paid for Breast Milk Donation
I like donating to a milk bank because all of the donors are carefully screened, the milk is regulated, and I m confident that needy babies are receiving the breast milk donations. However, I also like the idea of getting paid for all that liquid gold! Unfortunately, that is only an option through private breast milk donation. I m not opposed to private donation, I ve done it already myself, but there are some risks since things aren t as regulated.
If you want to donate breast milk, you have to choose. Do you want things regulated or do you want to do get paid?
Thanks to the Mothers Milk Cooperative in Oregon, you don t have to choose anymore. They are the only milk bank in the country that pays women for their breast milk donation.
I had the opportunity to interview Adrianne Weir, the CEO of the Mothers Milk Cooperative. She explained the unique characteristics of this new milk bank and how you can get paid for breast milk donation.
How to Get Paid for Breast Milk Donation at The Mothers Milk Cooperative
Please Note: Breastfeeding Place does not buy, sell, or distribute breast milk. To find out how the process works, read below.
What makes the Mothers Milk Cooperative different from other traditional milk banks?
The Mothers Milk Cooperative (MMC) is the first and only milk bank owned by its donors. Additionally, as opposed to other milk banks who sell milk and keep the profit, we pay breast milk donors who participate in our Milk Money program and we distribute profits earned at the end of the year to our milk donors based upon their level of participation. Read A Message From the CEO to learn more about the motivation behind organizing the Mothers Milk Coop.
Our donor milk is processed using tried and true food processing techniques that allow it to be stored at room temperature. This means that our donor milk can be used for disaster relief, shipped in a more affordable way (reducing the cost of shipping by as much as $150 per case), and stocked ready to feed for infants in need. This processing technique does not diminish the nutritional value of the milk.
How much do you pay mothers for their milk?
Mothers who participate in our Milk Money program earn $1/oz for their milk.
What kind of requirements do mothers need to meet in order to qualify for your program?
Nursing mothers must successfully complete a medical history questionnaire through our website and blood testing through The American Red Cross. In addition, the donor milk is rigorously tested including testing on the incoming raw milk (which not all milk banks do) to prevent acceptance of milk with a high level of bacteria or viruses. We believe that safety and quality are critical.
Is there a minimum amount of milk needed for a donation?
The minimum donation is 300 oz. We ask that 100 ounces of your first milk donation be applied toward donor qualification expenses. This donation ensures that every nursing mother is able to participate. Donors will be paid for any milk donated beyond the first 100 ounces.
Do you require all 300 oz at one time?
Yes, this amount is required to prevent any melting or thawing during shipment.
Who receives the donor milk?
Donor milk is most often used for premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and other infants with a medical need for donor milk. MMC donor milk is currently the most affordable donor milk available, and we are working every day to continue to bring down the cost of donor milk so more babies that need it can get it.
Are there any expenses associated with donating breast milk?
Donors need to supply their own breast milk storage bags (such as these), but everything else (blood testing, shipping, etc.) is paid for by MMC.
What if mothers want to donate their breast milk and not be paid? Is that an option?
Yes, that is an option. This program is called Pay It Forward. Rather than receiving payment, you can elect to provide milk to Pay It Forward and gift your milk to a baby in need. A portion of the milk donated will be retained, processed, and sold to fund this program. Pay It Forward was developed as a way to make donor milk more accessible to families of infants in need who otherwise may not be able to afford it. Stay tuned to our blog to learn more about our on-going efforts to make human milk more available to those who need it most. Philanthropy is a central element of our mission at MMC.
Whether you have milk to donate or need a breast milk donation, visit The Mothers Milk Cooperative for more information.