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Donor milk

The King's Daughters Milk Bank at CHKD

(757) 668-6455

The King’s Daughters Milk Bank at CHKD is a nonprofit, hospital-based donor milk bank established to provide the life-saving benefits of breast milk to severely premature and critically-ill infants, improving their potential to survive and thrive.

Importance of Breast Milk

Breast milk is the best nutrition for all babies and can be a life-saving treatment for those who are extremely premature or critically ill. Breast milk significantly decreases the odds of life-threatening complications and infections in premature infants during the first months of life. 

Need for a Milk Bank

Since many factors can prevent mothers of preterm or critically ill infants from being able to provide a sufficient supply of their own milk, CHKD has established The King’s Daughters Milk Bank to ensure that breast milk is available to the hospital’s most fragile babies. 

  • Each year, preterm birth affects nearly 500,000 babies — that’s one of every eight babies born in the United States (www.cdc.gov).
  • The risk of premature or sick babies developing devastating intestinal infections is 10 times higher if they are fed formula instead of human milk.
  • Human milk protects against allergies and contains antibodies to fight disease and growth hormones that help babies develop.
  • Many factors can prevent mothers of preterm or critically ill infants from providing an adequate supply of their own breast milk.
  • Donor milk is easily digested and provides infection-fighting benefits and optimal nutrition in the absence of mother’s own milk. 
  • The supply of donor human milk does not currently meet the demand of the babies who would benefit from it. 

Our Safety Standards

Operating under the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), The King’s Daughters Milk Bank is able to ensure the safety of donated milk by careful screening, laboratory testing and pasteurization techniques. The donor milk is ready to be dispensed only after a final laboratory testing step that further ensures its safety. The milk can then be distributed to the babies who need it most. 

Interested in Donating Milk?

Milk donors are critical to the success of the milk bank.  Without donors to provide a safe and continuous supply of milk, babies who need this valuable treatment will be unable to receive it.

Donors must be healthy, have a milk supply beyond their own infant’s needs and be willing to express and donate to the milk bank using the established collection protocols. Donors receive no payment or compensation for their donation, except the satisfaction that comes from knowing they have helped improve the health of a fragile baby.  

Potential donors are selected by using a multi-step screening process that is similar to blood banks. After being collected, donated milk is pooled and pasteurized to kill any bacteria or viruses. The milk bank covers 100 percent of the cost associated with donating milk, including screening, supplies and shipping.

The milk bank is made possible through the financial support of The King’s Daughters organization and the generosity of our milk donors.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in 'sharing the health' by becoming a donor, please call 757-668-MILK (6455), or email to KDmilkbank@chkd.org to begin the screening process.  

Milk Bank Location

(757) 668-6455

Milk Bank becomes a reality