Do you have suggestions for addressing donors?

Reading Time: 2 minutes
This list is only a guide and does not imply that all the questions will apply to you or that you should feel restricted from asking other questions. It is up to each recipient family to determine what they are comfortable with.

Questions that can be asked of donors:1

  • Is there anything that would prevent you from donating safe and healthy breastmilk?
  • Have you read the Resource for Informed Breastmilk Sharing?
  • Do you have any concerns about sharing your milk that you want to talk about?
  • Have you ever tested positive for: TB, HTLV I or II, HIV I or II, Herpes Simplex, Hepatitis B or C, or Syphilis?
  • Have you had close or intimate contact with anyone infected with any of the above?
  • Are you or your sexual partner(s) at risk for HIV?
  • Were you born in or have you ever visited any of the following countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Niger or Nigeria?
  • Has a blood relative been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)?
  • Do you have any open sores, blisters, and/or cracks on the skin?
  • Would you agree to have your blood screened if requested?
  • Would you agree to be tested for TB if requested?
  • Have you required hospitalization or blood transfusion the last 12 months?
  • Have you ever received an organ transplant?
  • Have you received any vaccinations in the last 12 months?
  • Do you require insulin to control diabetes?
  • Do you have a history of cancer?
  • Do you take any prescription medications on a regular basis, including hormone replacement?
  • Do you have any general health concerns?
  • Does your baby have any general health or weight gain concerns?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you consume more than 3 caffeinated beverages per day?
  • Do you drink alcohol? How much and how often?
  • Do you use recreational drugs? Which ones and how often?
  • Do you use over-the-counter (OTC) medication? Which ones and how often?
  • Do you have silicone breast implants?
  • Have you had body piercings, tattoos, accidental needle stick injuries, acupuncture, electrolysis or wear permanent make up?
  • Do you take megavitamins?
  • Do you know how to clean milk collection items?
  • Do you know how to safely store milk?

Please read the section ‘Health Considerations’ if you have questions about any of the above.

Next section: Handling breastmilk (for recipients).


  1. Most of the following questions are normally asked by milk, blood and tissue banks during the donation process. Please keep in mind that since milk banks cater primarily to premature and sick infants who can be more sensitive to substance exposure (medications, herbal products, tobacco products, alcohol, and recreational drugs), their questions are very in depth. []

Leave a Reply