Collection & Storage

Collection & Storage

Mothers’ Milk Bank asks that our donors have exceptional hygiene and follow careful collection and storage methods. The milk recipients are often the most fragile and ill infants in NICUs. In order for the milk to be used, it must be tested for any unwanted bacteria. By following the collection and storage methods outlined below, donors can help us make sure we’re able to use all of the milk that is donated.

Mothers’ Milk Bank can provide our donors with milk storage bags and sanitizing steam bags. Call 303.869.1888 to place an order.

Collection Guidelines
  1. Take a bath or shower daily.
  2. Before pumping, wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  3. Gently wipe your nipples and breasts with a clean, damp wash cloth or paper towel (no soap). Be sure not to let anything touch your breasts after washing.
  4. Pump into your clean bottle or container. Wash hands again if you touch anything else while pumping, including your hair, face, child, etc.
  5. Pour your pumped milk directly into a milk storage bag and seal it. Any container intended for mothers’ milk storage is acceptable but please do not use Ziploc bags or ice cube trays. Avoid talking or coughing into the open bag or container.
  6. Help us prevent loss of milk by not overfilling the milk storage bags. When frozen, milk expands and the bag seams may crack if overfilled. If you are using hard containers, leave ¾ of an inch or more of space at the top to prevent damage.
  7. If you are interrupted during your pumping session, cap the milk and put it in the refrigerator. You may go back and finish pumping, but the entire procedure should be finished within 30 minutes. Do not combine milk from different pump sessions.
  8. When marking your milk, it is important that each bottle or bag is labeled with the following information:
    • Your milk bank donor number (if you know it) or your last name
    • Date of collection (including year)
  9. Place the milk in the rear or bottom of your freezer, where it is coldest. The freezer door is often warmer than the rest of the freezer, so it is best the milk not be placed in the door.
Cleaning Pump Parts
  1. Clean pump parts using the microwave steam bags provided by Mothers’ Milk Bank.
    • Disassemble all pump parts.
    • Wash the parts with warm, soapy water and rinse with clean water.
    • Please the parts in the microwave steam bag and follow the instructions listed on the bag.
    • The clean pump parts may remain in microwave steam bags until they are needed again or they can be placed into a new plastic bag.
    • When you are running low on microwave steam bags, call 303.869.1888 to request more.
  2. Or, clean pump parts by boiling them in a saucepan.
    • Disassemble all pump parts.
    • Wash the parts with warm, soapy water and rinse with clean water.
    • Place the parts in a saucepan and cover them with water.
    • Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes.
    • Drain the water over a colander and allow the parts to cool in the open saucepan.
    • When cool, remove them with clean hands and place them on a clean towel or paper towel to air dry. Keep them in an area away from dirt, pet hair, etc.
    • Place the clean, dry pump parts into a plastic bag and keep them sealed until you are ready to pump again.


Do you produce milk in excess of your own baby’s needs? If so, consider donating to Mothers’ Milk Bank. Your extra milk could help babies in NICUs all over the country. Just one ounce of milk can feed a micro preemie for an entire day.



P: 303.839.6782

F: 303.839.6783

5394 Marshall Street, Suite 400
Arvada, CO 80002



P: 303.869.1888

F: 303.839.7336