I will not use (all) the donated milk. What should I do?

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There are a few situations where it can happen that the donated breastmilk cannot or will not be used.

Expressed breastmilk, especially milk that has been frozen, can develop a taste or smell that some babies do not like. Some of this can be caused by excess lipase but there are other reasons for this to occur. Please read more about breastmilk developing a strange taste and/or smell here.1

It also happens that recipients end up with too much donated milk, or with enough to share with another parent in need.

If the donated milk will not be used, or if a recipient has more than is needed, the breastmilk can be returned to the original donor or donated to someone else. When donating to someone else, it is important that the original donor is asked for permission, and that the new recipient is able to have direct contact with the original donor for full informed choice process.

In order to return bags of milk to donors, or to pass milk on to another recipient, it is important that bags be labeled properly.

Please see Handling Milk for proper handling information.


  1. This information can also be shared with donors in order to possibly avoid this issue in the future. []

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