Photo of woman breastfeeding
print header

Obtaining / Donating Human Milk

The sharing of unprocessed, donor human milk obtained from private sources is NOT recommended.

Safety of donor milk from private sources in questionable, as these sources have not undergone any screening, processing or medical history of the donor.

  Potential risks of private donor human milk include:

  • Contamination with viruses such as HIV or bacteria that can lead to illness.
  • Traces of prescription and non-prescription drugs can be transmitted through donor human milk.
  • Improper expressing, handling and storage of donor milk could lead to spoilage or contamination.

The only safe source of pasteurized donor human milk in Ontario is from the Roger Hixon Milk Bank.

 Click on the topics below to learn more:

The Roger Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank is located at Mount Sinai Hospital, in partnership with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The Milk Bank collects donated breastmilk from lactating women, pasteurizes it, and distributes it by prescription to medically fragile babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units across Ontario. 

Click for more information on The Roger Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank.

Some questions for parents/caregivers to consider:

Do you know the milk donor, including their health history and the medications that they are using?

Do you know if the donor followed safe handling (e.g. washing their hands, using sterile pump and containers), collection and storage recommendations for human milk?

Do you know when the donor human milk was expressed?

Are you aware of the risk of your baby getting sick from using private donor milk?

For more information visit Safety of Donor Human Milk in Canada (English/Francais)


For more information on feeding your baby/child in Simcoe Muskoka, please contact your health care provider or contact Health Connection by calling 1-705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by email or connect with us wherever you are on Facebook or Twitter.

Did you find what you were looking for today?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...