Donor human milk

Donor human milk bottles

The best food for a baby is almost always their parent's own milk. Sometimes, pasteurized donor human milk from a certified human milk bank may be an option for babies in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This may be provided in hospital while parents work to build their own milk supply for their babies.

Donating to BC's human milk bank

BC has only one certified human milk bank located in Vancouver. For more information: BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank - BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).

Human milk donations are always needed. Interested in becoming a human milk donor? Contact BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank by phone at 1-604-875-3743 or email at mbscreening@cw.bc.ca. Potential donors can start freezing their milk as they start the screening process.

Approved donors will need to get their frozen milk to the NICU at the hospital in Prince George or another milk collection depot in BC. Donors can drop off their milk, send it with family or friends traveling to Prince George, or ship it by bus. Call the NICU at 250-565-2328 to make arrangements.

Informal (peer-to-peer) milk sharing (unpasteurized donor human milk)

Pasteurized donor human milk is not easily available in Northern BC. Some parents may be interested in providing their infants unpasteurized donor human milk obtained from family, friends, or other sources (e.g., online). This is referred to as informal milk sharing, and may involve peer-to-peer sharing or the purchasing of unpasteurized donor human milk from strangers. Informal milk sharing may carry risks.

Learn more to make an informed decision: Information for families: Informal (peer-to-peer) human milk sharing (PDF) - Perinatal Services BC.

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For more information

  • Contact BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank by phone at 1-604-875-3743 or email at mbscreening@cw.bc.ca
  • Approved donors can call the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia NICU Milk Depot at 250-565-2328 to arrange for milk drop-off
  • University Hospital of Northern British Columbia
    Email: NHBreastfeeding@northernhealth.ca
    Phone: 250-565-2000 (*Please call before coming to the hospital*)
    1475 Edmonton Ave
    Parkwood Place, Prince George
    Pay parking available on site