More Florida moms donating breast milk during nationwide baby formula shortage: How to become a donor

If you haven't heard of a Mother's Milk Bank before, you're probably not alone. But among women who are breastfeeding, it's a mom-to-mom shared marketplace where mothers can share extra and unused milk with other moms.

Amid a nationwide shortage of infant formula at the grocery stores, Mother's Milk Bank has seen a significant increase in calls from women who want to help by donating breast milk.

"We have had a dramatic request for women who want to become donors," said Laene Keith, who works at Mother’s Milk Bank of Florida.

"We are receiving what used to be 12-15 calls in one week, we are now getting 15 a day," she said.

Most of the milk that's donated will go to pre-term or medically fragile babies. Any extra will then go to other families in need, such as moms who are unable to produce enough milk or who may have to supplement with baby formula.

The more donations they receive, the most people they can help.

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"Our superheroes are our women who choose to donate their milk. They are taking care of their babies first, and then choosing life for babies unknown to them," said Keith.

Mother’s Milk Bank is one of several organizations working to assist moms amid the shortage. Governments across the country are also working to help deal with the shortage too.

In an effort to help, Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani opened her legislative office for moms and families to drop off unused and/or unexpired formula. People can donate any day this week during normal business hours, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

"The ask we’re making is optimistic but candidly, the scarcity is so dire, I don’t know if there’s extra baby formula in people’s homes, but if someone does we want them to know there are organizations out there that will get it to a family in need," she told FOX 35 Orlando in an interview.

Donated human milk is screened and tested, according to Milk Bank of Florida’s website.


To become a donor, people can call Milk Bank of Florida at 407-248-5050 for a telephone interview, followed by an online health questionnaire, blood testing, and doctor visit. It can take between three and four weeks to be approved, Keith said, but people are being approved every day.

Donors have to be in "excellent health" and do not smoke. Visit Milk Bank of Florida for more information.