Questions & answers
How do I donate my milk to a milk bank?
EMBA is an organization with members from all over Europe. We have an organizing office in Italy, Milan, and we support the milk banks and their work, but we do not handle donations.
Please search our web site https://europeanmilkbanking.com/ for contacts in your country. You will find them if you click on the flag for the country where you wish to donate.
Can I donate my milk to another country while on vacation or on business?
In general milk banks in Europe don't recruit donors who are short term visitors to their country - this is because donors need to be registered with local healthcare providers and extensively screened including via blood tests. The milk banks also need to be able to contact donors in the future (it could be up to many years later) and this is more difficult if they live in another country. It may be possible to store your milk in the hotel freezer (hotels are often very helpful) and take your frozen milk back home with you by placing it in the hold of the aircraft with your luggage. Some airlines are very helpful so do discuss it with them. The hold is a very cold area and if the milk is packed in an insulated cold box with ice packs and extra insulation (bubble wrap, newspaper or polystyrene chips work well) the milk will usually stay frozen for 12 – 24 hours depending on the volume of milk).
Are there standard guidelines for storing expressed breast milk?
Most milk banks follow their national or local guidelines but where these are not available the EMBA has compiled a consensus document that collates recommendations for establishing and operating human milk banks. These will be available soon on the EMBA website.
How do I become a member of EMBA?
Becoming a member of EMBA is easy – simply click on the ‘Join Us’ at the top right hand side of the EMBA website homepage. You will be asked to complete the application fomr and include payment details. Membership runs from the 1st January to the 31st December and members have access to the Members Only section of the website via a password that changes each year.
Membership also give you discounted registration for EMBA conferences.
Are there materials or toolkits for starting a milk bank?
The organisation PATH (www.path.org) have recently made available a selection of tools and resources aimed at facilitating national and local organisations to establish and safely and sustainably operate human milk banks. These will soon be accessible via the PATH website and EMBA will be helping to promote their use.