Demographics and Geographic Distribution of Mothers Donating to a Nonprofit Milk Bank

Grace Jarmoc, Naomi Bar-Yam, James I. Hagadorn, Lauren Tosi, Elizabeth A. Brownell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) is a nonprofit association that standardizes and facilitates the establishment and operation of nonprofit donor human milk banks in North America. Few studies have examined milk donor characteristics and geographic distribution, and little is known about how donor characteristics change with time. Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of mothers who donated to Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE) between January 1, 2011 and September 1, 2019. Data collected from MMBNE donor surveys and collection procedures were analyzed using descriptive and comparative statistics. Donor characteristics were examined for secular trends. Results: Donors (n = 3,764) were of mean age 32.5 years (median 32; IQR 30-35) and most donated more than once (median 2; IQR 1-3; range 1-41). The majority of donors gave birth to term infants and resided in New England; however, MMBNE donors were located in 39 states at the time of donation. Median total volume donated per donor was median 11,396 mL (380 Oz); IQR 6,020-24,242 mL. Mothers of preterm compared with term infants were more likely to be bereaved (p < 0.01) and donated larger volumes (p < 0.01). Over time, number of first-time donors increased, although donors became less likely to have preterm infants or to reside in Massachusetts or New England. Conclusions: Donors to MMBNE varied greatly in age and were broadly distributed geographically. Donor characteristics changed substantially over time. Enhanced understanding of the characteristics of donors may improve the efficiency of efforts to promote milk donation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Human Milk Banking Association of North America
  • donor human milk
  • human milk
  • mother's own milk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


Dive into the research topics of 'Demographics and Geographic Distribution of Mothers Donating to a Nonprofit Milk Bank'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this