Why start a Milk Bank?

  • Breastmilk saves lives, a fact widely recognised all over the world.
  • Equally recognised is that there is no breastmilk substitute that provides the nutrition, protection and other benefits that breastmilk does.
  • Breastmilk banks, or human milk banks, therefore play a vital role by supplying safe, screened, donated breastmilk to babies whose mothers are unable to meet their need for breastmilk.
  • According to the World Health Organization, pasteurised human milk from screened donors provides the next best alternative to mother’s own breast milk.
  • Premature and sick infants are most at risk of serious infections and complications should they not receive breastmilk.
  • When a vulnerable baby’s own mother is unable to supply breastmilk, a breast milk bank can safely offer this life-saving gift from another mother.
  • Breast milk is particularly beneficial in protecting against necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious and often fatal disease for premature babies – the very babies most prone to it.
  • It is possible for any institution, large or small, public or private, to set up its own milk bank.
  • Milk Matters offers seminars and guidance about setting up milk banks, be it a very small or larger milk bank that is being considered.
I had tried donating milk in my country but they didn’t have a system and never got back to me, so the idea of the possibility of donating made me really happy.
Marta, Breastmilk donor – Panama, South America
Opening a milk bank in an African setting, such as Queen Elisabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, is one of the best things I have done during my career as a Neonatologist. It saves probably more lives than anything else I have done.
Dr Thomas Brune, Neonatologist, Head of Neonatal Department, Stockholm

How to set up a Milk Bank

Milk Matters has successfully facilitated the setting up of milk banks in both state and private hospitals in South Africa and outside of South Africa.

Milk Matters runs seminars on milk banking, offering practical information about running a milk bank. Guidance in the planning and implementation stages of establishing a new milk bank is given, as well as education regarding milk banking protocols.

Are you interested in starting a milk bank?

You can read more about milk banking at:


Possible upward social mobility if breastfed...
Breastfed infants might be more likely to show upward social mobility (movement up the social class hierarchy during the course of life) compared with those who were not breast fed, due to better health, greater stature and higher IQ associated with breastfeeding.
Donating milk is so wonderful, and one feels so good! I dropped 16 bottles off at depot this morning, feels great!
Angie, Breastmilk donor – Parow North
I never knew the babies I donated to, but I am very happy in the knowledge that my body was able to provide for sickly newborns whose mothers were unable to breastfeed.
Nwabisa, Breastmilk donor – Pinelands