Receiving Pasteurized Donor Human Milk

Why Use Pasteurized Donor Human Milk?

Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank (IMMB) provides pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) by prescription or physician order to hospitals and outpatients throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Premature and ill infants in hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are our highest priority.

Uses for PDHM

  • Prematurity
  • Infants susceptible or recovering from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
  • Failure to thrive
  • Malabsorption syndromes
  • Short-gut syndrome
  • Trophic feeds/gut-priming
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Pre- and Post-operative nutrition
  • Adoption
  • Absent or insufficient lactation
  • Illness in the mother requiring temporary interruption of breastfeeding
  • Treatment for infectious diseases (intractable diarrhea, gastroenteritis, etc)
  • Immunodeficiency disorders
  • Non-infectious intestinal disorders

Is it safe?

The Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank follows strict screening, processing, and dispensing guidelines established by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) to ensure the safety of pasteurized donor human milk. These guidelines have been established with the advisement of the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, and the blood and tissue industries. Potential donors provide complete medical and lifestyle histories, and undergo blood tests, similar to the screening process used at blood banks. Donated milk is then tested for bacteria and levels of nutrients, and pasteurized to kill any bacteria or viruses. Before the pasteurized milk is dispensed, bacteriological testing is done to ensure its safety.

Is it cost-effective?

One of the most common, and most devastating, illnesses premature or fragile infants can acquire is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). According to the Journal of Pediatrics, research shows that NEC, which pasteurized donor human milk can help prevent, will increase a baby’s length stay in the NICU, which can result in over $100,000 in additional costs or lead to infant death. In addition, the use of PDHM instead of formula can help decrease the risk of a variety of complications as sepsis, which reduces length of stay and overall health care expenditures.
New research on additional uses of PDHM is emerging nationwide. We hope to be able to provide PDHM for any infant or child with medical necessity



How to order PDHM?

Once the milk undergoes the rigorous screening and processing at IMMB, it is ready for distribution to hospitals or outpatient recipients. PDHM is supplied in the following quantities:

Term PDHM (Milk pumped by Mother’s who have given birth to a baby more than 36 weeks gestation) – 4 ounce bottles
Preterm PDHM (Milk pumped by Mother’s who have given birth to a baby less than 36 weeks gestation) – 2 ounce bottles

Each bottle is labeled with the pasteurization date, expiration date, batch number, and nutritional information.   Each bottle is sealed prior to pasteurization to ensure quality and safety during processing and transportation.

Orders received prior to 2:00 pm EST will be delivered next day via UPS overnight delivery.  Orders received after 2:00 pm EST will be shipped out the following business day.  Orders are disbursed Monday through Thursday only. Contact us by phone is there is an emergency situation. Orders can also be receiving same-day through a courier service for an additional fee.  For more information, please call IMMB at 317-536-1670.

If you are a hospital or health care provider interested in ordering PDHM, please contact us by phone.  If you need PDHM immediately for an emergency situation, please call 317-536-1670 or toll-free 877-824-7470.


If you are a parent or family member wishing to order PDHM for outpatient use, please call us at 317-536-1670.  You will need the following information:

  1. To complete the brief Outpatient Intake Forms
  2. To obtain a prescription from your baby’s health care provider with the following information:
    • Pasteurized donor human milk
    • Detailing the amount in ounces per day
    • How long the prescription is valid (1 week, 1 month, etc) with a maximum of 3 months
  3. Make payment arrangements with IMMB staff. We accept Visa or Mastercard, check, or can make payment plan arrangements. Please call IMMB for more information on cost and payment.
  4. Insurance coverage cannot be guaranteed. We encourage you to submit claims for reimbursement through your private insurance company. We will do our best to provide information you may need. However, at this time, we cannot directly bill insurance companies for PDHM on an outpatient basis.

Thank you for your interest in using pasteurized donor human milk from the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank.
The following major professional health care organizations have position statements in support of breastfeeding, human milk, and the use of pasteurized donor human milk.

Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

International Lactation Consultants Associations (ILCA)

La Leche League International (LLLI)

United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)

World Health Organization (WHO)