Babies Who Receive Donor Milk

When Donor Milk is Prescribed

Mom's own milk is always the ideal for your baby, but when it's not available, milk generously given by screened donor mothers is the next best thing. Donor human milk (DHM) may be necessary for a short time, while you wait for your own milk to come in–or for a longer time if, for example, you are not able to produce milk.

Your baby might receive donor milk because of:

  • preterm birth
  • failure to thrive
  • malabsorption syndromes
  • allergies
  • feeding/formula intolerance
  • immunologic deficiencies
  • pre- or post-operative nutrition
  • infectious diseases


Eligibility for Donor Milk

Because we depend entirely on volunteer donors for our milk supply, we must prioritize and provide milk first to babies with a medical need. Healthy infants can obtain donor milk only when the needs of babies with the most critical needs have been met. Our clinical director, in consultation with your baby's healthcare provider, makes these decisions. Contact us if you have a question about your baby's eligibility.


If your baby is hospitalized:

Donor human milk (DHM) is prescribed by healthcare providers. The hospital is responsible for ordering milk for its inpatients. Talk with your healthcare provider about getting donor milk prescribed.

Learn how hospitals can order donor milk.


If your baby is at home:

Donor human milk for the use of an outpatient baby requires a healthcare provider's prescription and a letter of medical necessity. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the use of donor milk at home.


Paying for Donor Milk

When your baby is hospitalized, the milk processing fee and shipping costs are billed to the hospital, and subsequently your insurance company. If your baby is not hospitalized, the fee will be billed to you. Texas Medicaid currently covers the cost for donor milk for a limited period of time, when medically necessary. If your family has private insurance, we encourage you to file a claim. We are happy to work with the family, the baby's healthcare provider and insurance company to obtain coverage. If necessary, we can establish a payment plan. All babies with a medical need for milk, whose moms cannot provide milk, are eligible to receive it for at least a limited time, regardless of ability to pay.