How to Buy Breast Milk

If you’re a mother who wants to breastfeed her baby and is unable to do so, you can find a safe human milk bank.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Go to the HMBANA web site Go to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America website. HMBANA is the only health-care professional membership-sponsored association for human breast milk banks in the United States and Canada.
  • Step 2: Locate a mother’s milk bank near you Locate an HMBANA-recommended mother’s milk bank near you. There are 11 recommended banks in the U.S. and Canada.
  • TIP: Milk-bank donors are screened for infections, health history, sexual activity, and tobacco use.
  • Step 3: Get a prescription from your doctor Get a prescription for mother’s milk from your doctor. Have your doctor fax or mail the prescription if you live far from an HMBANA-recommended milk bank.
  • TIP: At a milk bank, human milk is tested for bacteria, pasteurized, and then frozen before sold.
  • Step 4: Call your medical insurance provider Call your medical insurance provider to find out if the cost of banked breast milk is covered. Human breast milk typically costs about $3 an ounce.
  • Step 5: Pick up the frozen milk from the milk bank Pick up the frozen milk from the milk bank. If you live far from a milk bank, contact them and have them ship the milk via priority overnight mail.
  • FACT: Infants may develop an allergy to dairy products if given cow’s milk before they’re a year old.

You Will Need

  • Internet access
  • Doctor's prescription
  • Health insurance

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