Milk Donation: Peer sharing vs Milk banks

Human milk Bank in India

Breast milk is a precious resource that provides many health benefits for babies, especially premature infants. However, not all mothers are able to produce enough milk to meet their baby’s needs. In such cases, milk donation can be a lifesaving option. In this blog post, we will discuss two common ways of donating milk – peer sharing and milk banks – and compare the benefits and drawbacks of each method.

What is Peer Sharing?

Peer sharing involves donating breast milk directly to another mother in need, without the involvement of a formal organization. This method is often preferred by mothers who value the personal connection and the ability to screen the recipient themselves.


  • Personal connection and the ability to communicate with the recipient directly
  • No formal screening process or paperwork
  • Can provide breast milk to someone in need quickly


  • The risk of transmitting infectious diseases, as the donor and recipient may not have undergone thorough medical screening
  • Lack of standardization in handling and storing breast milk, which can affect the quality of the milk
  • Potential legal issues, such as liability in case the donated milk causes harm to the recipient’s baby

What are Milk Banks?

Milk banks are organizations that collect, screen, and distribute donated breast milk to babies in need. They typically follow strict protocols to ensure the safety and quality of the milk.


  • The thorough screening process ensures the safety of the milk
  • Standardized handling and storing protocols to maintain the quality of the milk
  • Ability to provide breast milk to a large number of babies in need


  • The formal application process and paperwork can be time-consuming and may deter potential donors
  • The cost of processing and distributing the milk may limit the availability of milk banks in some areas
  • Lack of personal connection between the donor and recipient

Which is better: Peer sharing Or Milk banks?

Both peer sharing and milk banks have pros and cons, and the best option for donating breast milk depends on the donor’s priorities and circumstances.

For those who value a personal connection with the recipient and are comfortable with assuming potential risks, peer sharing may be the preferred option. On the other hand, those who prioritize safety, standardization, and the ability to help a larger number of babies may opt for donating through a milk bank.

In India, preterm birth is a significant public health issue. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), India has one of the highest rates of preterm births in the world, with an estimated 3.5 million babies born prematurely each year. Thus, donating your breastmilk is a wonderful way to help such mothers and babies.

Whether you choose to donate through a breast milk bank or through peer sharing, it’s essential to consider the risks and benefits of each option carefully. Ultimately, the decision to donate breast milk is a personal one and should be made based on your individual circumstances and preferences.

Breast milk donation is a selfless act that can provide life-saving benefits to premature infants and other babies in need. Whether you choose to donate through peer sharing or a milk bank, it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each method and make an informed decision. By doing so, you can help ensure that your donated breast milk provides the maximum benefit to its recipient.

Milk Donation: Peer sharing vs Milk banks

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