Information for potential donors

To donate milk to the PREM Bank, you will need to complete the Donor Screening Assessment, attend an appointment in person and have a blood test. This is to ensure that the breast milk provided is safe for the babies receiving it.

Completing the Donor Screening Assessment

Before completing the online Donor Screening Assessment, please read the frequently asked questions for donors below.

Frequently asked questions

To ensure that your donated milk will be safe for the very premature babies we feed, you will need to complete the Donor Screening Assessment (a short questionnaire) and attend an appointment via telehealth or in person. These questions are similar to those asked when you want to become a blood donor. We ask that you be as accurate and honest as you can with your answers. Any information given is strictly confidential.

You are unable to donate if you:

  • have been declined as a blood donor for a medical reason (other than pregnancy or nursing)
  • have tested positive for HIV, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis or have a history of cancer
  • have injected drugs not prescribed by a doctor
  • have lived or travelled to the UK between 1980 -1996 for six months or more
  • smoke or use tobacco products (including nicotine patches or gum)
  • regularly consume more than two standard alcoholic drinks per day
  • regularly consume more than 750ml (three cups) of tea, coffee, cola or stimulant soft drinks per day

In addition, you may not be able to donate if you are taking herbal supplements or other medications. Please inform the PREM Bank staff when attending further screening.

You may be unable to donate breast milk if, in the last 12 months, you have:

  • had close contact (cohabitation or intimate contact) with someone with hepatitis, or someone at risk of AIDS or HIV (including haemophiliacs and IV drug users)

You may be unable to donate breast milk if, in the last 6 months, you have:

  • had ear or body piercing
  • had a tattoo or permanent makeup
  • had an accidental needle stick injury

You may be unable to donate breast milk if, in the last 3 months, you have:

  • received a blood transfusion or blood products
  • vaccinations that may impact your donation (i.e. travel vaccination)

You may not be able to donate in the four-week period following Rubella (MMR) vaccination. Please inform PREM Bank staff when attending further screening. 

If you have a medical condition or routinely take medications, you may be eligible to donate once discussed with our staff.

Your milk is perfect for your own baby, but extra care needs to be taken when distributing donor milk to sick or premature babies. Although some diseases or infections are eliminated during the pasteurisation process, blood tests for potential donor mothers are a necessity. We have an information sheet to inform you about these tests. There is no charge for this service.

All personal information and test results obtained by the PREM Bank are held in strict confidence. 

If you become a regular donor to the PREM Bank, the milk collected varies between each donor.  The average volume over a donation period is approximately 15 litres. It is a good idea to establish breastfeeding before you begin to express for the PREM Bank. Most donors start two to four weeks after the birth of their baby and continue if they are comfortable.

The PREM Bank is generally seeking lactating or breastfeeding mothers with an oversupply producing more milk than their own baby needs and expressing daily to manage this.

We do not accept new donor mothers who:

  • are using supplemental formula feeds
  • have commenced transitional solids
  • are administering medication to increase breast milk supply
  • are still breast feeding their babies after twelve months of age.

It is also helpful to establish a regular routine such as expressing at the same time each day as it is more difficult to maintain a supply of milk if you only express occasionally. Some donors prefer expressing in the morning, others find it easiest to express from one breast whilst their baby is feeding from the other.

If you have a surplus of stored milk (minimum 4 litres) that you do not need for your baby, a one-off donation of this milk can be accepted. 

All excess milk to be donated must have been collected with previously sterilised equipment.

We are unable to accept your expressed milk stored in breast milk bags.

Excess milk to be donated may be collected in sterilised screw-cap bottles or containers.

The babies that receive milk from the PREM Bank are often born early, and their mothers might have trouble lactating especially if they have been ill during the pregnancy. Premature babies often have treatments that prevent a normal breastfeeding pattern, which can make it difficult for the mother to maintain good milk production.

No. We recognise that donating breast milk is an extremely generous gift and in turn ensure that it is safely supplied free of charge to hospitalised babies in need.

Please let the PREM Bank know if you are unwell with any symptoms that you feel are more than the common cold. Most minor illnesses will not affect your milk. However if you are feeling unwell you may want to stop donating for a while, until you feel better.

If you wish to donate while you are on medication, please include this information in your Donor Screening Assessment and this will be discussed with you by our staff. We will ask you to declare all medications and herbal preparations at your appointment and during the process of donation. 

We are available for any questions you may have regarding this during office hours.

If you are scheduled to have a rubella booster vaccinations, you may not be able to donate in the four-week period following Rubella (MMR) vaccination.

If you have any other vaccination queries, please contact us.

The PREM Bank is required by law to maintain the confidentiality of donor information, questionnaire and blood testing. As a donor, you are given a specific number as identification for the PREM Bank.

Individual donors do not meet the specific babies, mothers or families who receive their milk. This is part of the PREM Bank policy.

The PREM Bank provides you with sterilised collection bottles, labels and steam sterilising bags. A limited number of electric breast pumps are available for loan during the donation process. 

Collection and storage information of your breast milk is available in the PREM Bank Donor Information pack, which is given to you to take home.

Read more about collection and storage of breast milk.


Personal electric pumps may continue to be used while you are donating to the PREM Bank. Staff will discuss this at your appointment.

Read more about collection and storage of breast milk.


When you have filled most of the collection bottles at home, please contact the PREM Bank to organise a convenient time for delivery of your milk and to collect a new supply of bottles. PREM Bank staff will meet you at the pickup drop off zone on Bagot Road at the front of King Edward Memorial Hospital. Delivery time is during office hours Monday to Friday 7.30am to 3.00pm.

Please use an insulated esky or bag with ice packs to ensure it is frozen during transit.

Read more about collection and storage of breast milk.

Last Updated: 02/02/2023