Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. Read my full disclosure statement. 

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


How to Get Paid for Breast Milk Donation

I like donating to a milk bank because all of the donors are carefully screened, the milk is regulated, and I’m confident that needy babies are receiving the breast milk donations. However, I also like the idea of getting paid for all that liquid gold! Unfortunately, that is only an option through private breast milk donation. I’m not opposed to private donation, I’ve done it already myself, but there are some risks since things aren’t as regulated.

If you want to donate breast milk, you have to choose. Do you want things regulated or do you want to do get paid?

Thanks to the Mothers Milk Cooperative in Oregon, you don’t have to choose anymore. They are the only milk bank in the country that pays women for their breast milk donation.

How to get paid for your breast milk donation

I had the opportunity to interview Adrianne Weir, the CEO of the Mothers Milk Cooperative. She explained the unique characteristics of this new milk bank and how you can get paid for breast milk donation.

How to Get Paid for Breast Milk Donation at The Mothers Milk Cooperative

Please Note: Breastfeeding Place does not buy, sell, or distribute breast milk. To find out how the process works, read below. 

 

What makes the Mothers Milk Cooperative different from other traditional milk banks?
The Mothers Milk Cooperative (MMC) is the first and only milk bank owned by its donors. Additionally, as opposed to other milk banks who sell milk and keep the profit, we pay breast milk donors who participate in our “Milk Money” program and we distribute profits earned at the end of the year to our milk donors based upon their level of participation. Read A Message From the CEO to learn more about the motivation behind organizing the Mothers’ Milk Coop.

Our donor milk is processed using tried and true food processing techniques that allow it to be stored at room temperature. This means that our donor milk can be used for disaster relief, shipped in a more affordable way (reducing the cost of shipping by as much as $150 per case), and stocked ready to feed for infants in need. This processing technique does not diminish the nutritional value of the milk.

How much do you pay mothers for their milk?
Mothers who participate in our Milk Money program earn $1/oz for their milk.

What kind of requirements do mothers need to meet in order to qualify for your program?
Nursing mothers must successfully complete a medical history questionnaire through our website and blood testing through The American Red Cross. In addition, the donor milk is rigorously tested including testing on the incoming raw milk (which not all milk banks do) to prevent acceptance of milk with a high level of bacteria or viruses. We believe that safety and quality are critical.

Is there a minimum amount of milk needed for a donation?
The minimum donation is 300 oz. We ask that 100 ounces of your first milk donation be applied toward donor qualification expenses. This donation ensures that every nursing mother is able to participate. Donors will be paid for any milk donated beyond the first 100 ounces.

Do you require all 300 oz at one time?
Yes, this amount is required to prevent any melting or thawing during shipment.

Who receives the donor milk?
Donor milk is most often used for premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and other infants with a medical need for donor milk. MMC donor milk is currently the most affordable donor milk available, and we are working every day to continue to bring down the cost of donor milk so more babies that need it can get it.

Are there any expenses associated with donating breast milk?
Donors need to supply their own breast milk storage bags (such as these), but everything else (blood testing, shipping, etc.) is paid for by MMC.

What if mothers want to donate their breast milk and not be paid? Is that an option?
Yes, that is an option. This program is called Pay It Forward. Rather than receiving payment, you can elect to provide milk to Pay It Forward and gift your milk to a baby in need. A portion of the milk donated will be retained, processed, and sold to fund this program. Pay It Forward was developed as a way to make donor milk more accessible to families of infants in need who otherwise may not be able to afford it. Stay tuned to our blog to learn more about our on-going efforts to make human milk more available to those who need it most. Philanthropy is a central element of our mission at MMC.

Whether you have milk to donate or need a breast milk donation, visit The Mothers Milk Cooperative for more information.

Click Here To Sell Breastmilk!

Have you ever been paid for your breast milk? What do you think of this kind of business model for milk banks?

HowToGetPaidForBreastMilkDonation-FB


Rebekah Hoffer is a breastfeeding mom who has over come the struggles of excess lipase activity.  She shares frugal lifestyle tips, going green baby, and all of life in between at SimplyRebekah.com.

Comments

  1. I think maybe a new term should be considered since a donation is not something for which a person is paid.

  2. Hi there! Just wanted to jump in and add that the term “donation” is used in many other instances where there is an exchange similar to milk donation. Perhaps the most well known is sperm “donation”. You can also “donate” hair, where you are paid to provide it. “Donate” eggs (in some places) where you are a paid egg donor. Hope this helps! Thanks, Adrianne

  3. It is no longer donor milk once you are being paid for it, but a you mentioned that is the term MMC uses, not you. I strongly disagree with any money ever changing hands for breastmilk. It is a priceless gift that all mamas should have access to. In my local community, there are countless mamas whose babies are 100% donor milk fed because of the kindness and generosity of mamas who have an abundance of breast milk. I would be saddned to hear of someone turning down a mama looking for milk because the mama “donating” wanted to be paid.

    • Rebekah Hoffer says:

      Faith, I understand what you are saying, but I would argue that offering donor mothers an incentive for their milk will only encourage more moms to donate. Therefore more babies in need will be able to have the precious breast milk.

      Also, it is very easy to find other places online where people are willing to buy and sell breast milk. I think the regulations and safety that comes from donating to the Mothers’ Milk Cooperative is awesome.

      The fact is, if a mother wants to sell their breast milk, they can. The Cooperative paying mothers for their donation is not going to hurt a baby’s chances of receiving breast milk.

    • Food is a necessity for all human beings so should farmers give the food they grow away for free so that no one goes without? Just because something is a need shouldn’t mean that it should be free. Scarcity occurs when there isn’t enough reward for production. It’s a lot of work to pump and if mothers were paid for their milk more babies would benefit instead of having to have formula. If I could have earned money by pumping I would have invested in a hands free pumping set up and pumped more then I did. I always have an abundance of milk but I don’t have time to pump without a hands free set up which I couldn’t afford. That means that the breastmilk economy was deprived of the large number of ounces I could have given.

      • I completely agree Judith. Breast pumps cost money, storage bags cost money, and my personal time is valuable. I don’t feel I should get rich selling breast milk but I should be compensated in some way for my milk.

  4. unfortunately, the Mother’s Milk Cooperative is currently not taking donations (free or paid) from California 🙁 I’ve emailed them asking when they will start accepting donations from CA again. Hopefully soon….
    i wish more places paid for breast milk- its a great way to make extra money especially if you’re like me and stopped working after having kids.

  5. Breast milk is food people. Get over it. Sell it, donate it. Do whatever you want with your supply of milk. I don’t get this “moral” conversation around this. No, it’s not prostitution. You are still going to heaven or whatever they call were you are going.

  6. What they don’t tell you, is once you donate to them they refuse to give you a release to donate to other banks. So now that they have become backed up and aren’t accepting milk anymore, I can’t even donate my milk to any of our local nicu’s.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Money – Have you heard of the Mothers’ Milk Cooperative? They are a new milk bank that pays their donors $1.00 per ounce. Earning some extra cash might be […]

  2. […] paid for donating breast milk. – If you find yourself with more breast milk than you need, there is a milk bank in Oregon that will pay you for your breast milk. They will even cover shipping costs if you don’t live within driving […]

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