Donating Breastmilk: Introduction

In the spirit of informed choice, Eats On Feets encourages full disclosure from every person who participates in sharing breastmilk.

Recipients generally expect donors to make safe and healthy lifestyle choices, and to lovingly share their healthy breastmilk, breastmilk that, in most cases, would otherwise be given to their own children. The amount of milk a donor can supply will vary depending on the demands of their own child(ren) and with menstruation, changes in eating and drinking patterns, stress, etcetera. Donors should not be pressured by recipients nor put pressure on themselves to produce a certain amount of milk. While good eating and drinking habits are important, following a specific regimen to raise milk supply in order to donate is not suggested. Milk sharing is based on sharing the extra milk that may exist, not on ‘farming’ our breastmilk.

Some recipient families may have a questionnaire and/or request blood work. It is important to be open and honest with each other. The details of milk sharing arrangements will differ from family to family and may be facilitated with the aid of a written agreement between the two parties. Eats On Feets does not provide forms for contracts, nor does Eats On Feets provide official questionnaires.1 It is between donor and recipient to arrange for this.

For full informed choice process, our network requires that offers and requests are made by individuals who are the legally or clinically responsible party.2 Siblings, children, grandparents, friends, doulas, breastfeeding counselors, nurses etc. are not legally nor clinically responsible. Legal guardians, donors, recipients, midwives, doctors, etc. are. The exception to this rule is when the third party adds direct contact information in their post in the form of a phone number, email address, FB profile or FB tag for the donor/recipient. This still allows for full informed choice process.

In this section:

1. Possible reasons for not donating breastmilk.
2. Questions typically asked of donors.
3. Suggested blood tests for donors.
4. Finding a recipient.
5. After finding a recipient.
6. Questions typically asked of recipients.
7. Handling breastmilk (for donors).

Further information can be found in ‘Additional Information’

Next: Is there any reason why someone should not donate breastmilk?

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  1. The suggested questions we offer are typically asked of donors by milk banks. The are not meant to be used as an official Eats On Feets questionnaire. []
  2. Someone licensed to provide independent health care []