Once mothers have been screened by BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank, mothers in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region may drop off breast milk donations at a designated VCH site.
Sometimes parents can’t make enough milk for their babies. If a parent’s own milk is not available, the next best thing is pasteurized breast milk from a donor. Donor milk has active beneficial properties and is similar to a new parent’s own milk. It is especially critical for the health of sick and very tiny babies. We are always in need of new donors.
What to expect
You most likely can donate milk if you are:
- in good general health and your baby is up to 18 months old (bereaved donors are also accepted)
- have more breast milk than you need for your own baby
- willing to have a blood test to rule out certain diseases
- not taking medications, including antidepressants and galactagogues (medications that increase milk production), or herbal supplements (Progestin-only birth control pills, thyroid replacement hormones, human insulin, prenatal vitamins, iron or calcium are acceptable)
- living in Canada
We ask that each mother donate at least 4.2 litres (150 ounces) of milk over a period of time. This helps to cover the costs of screening. In the sad situation where a baby dies, some mothers choose to donate milk in honour of their child. BC Women’s accepts milk from bereaved donors.
Any amount of appropriately stored milk is accepted, assuming the donor has completed the screening process.
Learn about donating milk on the BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre Website.