The region’s first donor milk bank opens in November

Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank, the region’s first donor milk bank, is now screening milk donors to build a donor base and milk supply for its anticipated November opening. Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank will provide pasteurized donor breast milk to assist in saving lives of premature babies in eight regional NICUs.

“Beginning this process has been so exciting for us, and we look forward to providing pasteurized donor breast milk to Pennsylvania and West Virginia neonatal facilities this fall,” said Denise O’Connor, executive director, Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank. “The community has been extremely supportive and receptive as we’ve moved closer to opening. We are amazed and humbled by the number of women who have already reached out to us hoping to donate their milk.”

Donor milk is provided by carefully screening moms and thoroughly pasteurizing. A healthy breastfeeding mom can donate excess milk by pumping and storing the milk in their home freezer. Women are encouraged to donate when their baby’s needs are met or they are a bereaved or a surrogate mom.

Women interested in donating to the milk bank will need to pass a four-part screening process, including a written and verbal interview, health care provider assessment and blood test. More information is available at

“We encourage any woman interested in donating their milk to reach out to us with any questions they might have,” O’Connor said. “For babies in need, their donated milk can be life-saving.”