Buyer Guide

Find these categories listed below. 

Safety:
Finding the right donor for your baby: *How to screen breast milk donor 

Share the Love:
Buyer Responsibilities:

Tips on Communication with Seller:
What to do once the shipment has arrived:
Proper handling, storing, thawing, and feeding:
Local Pick-Up Guide:
Help, my breast milk arrived partly thawed! Can I refreeze it or do I have to use what I can and throw the rest away after 24 hours?:

Safety:

• Local pick ups are common and a great option for those who want to save on shipping costs; this also makes things much easier for the seller and buyers. It’s important to follow safety guidelines when setting up any in person transactions.
* View the 'Local Pick-Up Guide' at the bottom of this page for more information on local pick-up safety guidelines.

Acceptable payment methods: Cash, PayPal - PayPal has a reliable buyer/seller protection program and they protect both your and the sellers personal information. A buyer does not have to have a PayPal account to make a payment. You will just use the guest check out option in the invoice you receive. You are both still covered under the PayPal Buyer/Seller Protection program, even if the buyer pays as a guest and is not a PayPal account holder. Learn more here.

•  A seller will only need your city and zip code in order to give you a quote for the amount of breast milk you are interested in buying. You can wait to put your full shipping address in the PayPal invoice you'll receive to complete your order. This way you only give your home address to the donor you choose. 

We will never ask for your account password. If you receive any suspicious emails asking for your account information, password, or password retrieval you didn’t request be careful - don’t click on any links or respond to that email. Forward it to HappyBelliesHappyBabies@gmail.com so we can investigate further and let you know what we learn.


Finding the right donor for your baby: [top of page]  *How to screen breast milk & donor

Feel free to contact multiple donors to find the one that meets your needs the best. This helps you to find the donor you feel the most comfortable with that can give you the best cost and shipping time. Finding someone closer to you is optimal as you will save on shipping costs. Over night and air shipping costs avg over a hundred dollars up to hundreds of dollars. Ground shipping is most affordable and is  typically from $50 - $100 on avg shipments up to 900oz of breast milk with dry ice.

• There are multiple options to help you search through our site to view all the listings.

  • Classified Ads: We have listings under categories to narrow down your search  to specific needs.
  • Browse Ads: The ads here are listed starting from most recent first. You will see Featured Ads top posted and highlighted, then the free ads are listed next.
  • Featured Ads: These ads are displayed on the left sidebar of every page. Newer ads are top posted and descend down the list as any newer ads get posted. They are also found top listed in the 'Browse Ads' Page and also under each category in the 'Breast milk Classified listings'.

•  Write an ad that stands out and let's sellers know exactly what you're requirements are in donor breast milk. Sellers will review these ads to help as many families as they can, so feel free to use this feature if you want to review more potential donors.

  • Post in the categories that relate to your lifestyle and breast milk needs.
  • Use the Featured Ad section to increase your exposure and amount of views to an ad.

Check for sellers with Verified Seller Accounts. We have prescreened these sellers on their qualifications or statements they claim in their ads. To know if a seller is a VSA, look for this VSA icon in seller profiles  next to their username. Learn more about what a VSA is and how it works here.

• Make sure your donor has been tested for infectious diseases that can pass through breast milk: HIV I and II, HBV (Hepatitis B Antigen & Antibodies –if vaccinated, provide record), HCV (Hepatitis C), HTLV I and II, Syphilis.
The test should be current and kept on file. They can get them done by going to their family doctor and asking for labs orders, or the doctor may be able to have them done in the office. There are also online options too: www.accesalabs.com has a Breast Milk Donor Screen Panel or the donor can use any online lab and just place an order a la carte.

Ask about any medications your donor may be taking or will take when pumping milk to donate. Not all medications pass through breast milk; however, some will. It's important you also communicate what you wouldn't want to have risked getting into the breast milk. Here is a list of medications I found that are both considered ok or not ok to take when feeding baby from breast milk. 

•  Ask your donor to provide at least one verifiable document from this list:

  • Their most recent infectious diseases lab work dated no later than 6 months previous
  • Letter of recommendation by their doctor or surrogacy agency/agent with contact information on company letter head and a signature - can be their family doctor, ob/gyn doctor, or midwife. 
  • Letter of satisfaction from a previous recipient of their breast milk from current date

Ask the seller about their lifestyle and breast milk safe handling practices. You want to make sure that you are also taking every precaution to make sure your donor is handling everything on their end the way you expect, that the breast milk isn't put at risk of being tainted or intentionally diluting it with liquids like water or bovine milk. Check that their lifestyle is clean and healthy, especially on their diet ~ bonus if their diet aligns with your own.

Confirm they are drug free. Ask about tobacco and also alcohol consumption too.


Share the Love: [top of page]

Post your ad on your social media accounts and ask other’s to share it too. This will help bring more awareness to your listing and our site. The more people know about us the more buyers the site will have looking for sellers like you

Visit our Resource Blog, Facebook page, and website - then share the links using the share options provided. You’ll be helping other families looking to buy, sell, and donate breast milk with peace of mind.


Buyer Responsibilities:[top of page]

Make sure the breast milk is pasteurized by either the seller or yourself. Unpasteurized breast milk may contain bacteria. If you are not familiar with home pasteurization you can learn more here.

Shipping costs and fees should be paid up front by buyer along with breast milk payment.

Your quote may look something like this:
Breastmilk $2.00/oz @ 400oz = $800.00
Shipping Cooler = $20.00
 Dry Ice $1.49lb @ 5lbs =  $7.45
 2 Day UPS Ground Shipping = $50.00
 Total estimated cost = $877.45

Be able to set up a time with seller to make sure you or a responsible adult will be there to collect package upon arrival. The breast milk must be taken out of the cooler and placed into the freezer ASAP to protect it from spoiling.

Picking the right donor based on reviewing their health and medical history to confirm they live a healthy and clean lifestyle free of illegal drugs, no alcohol consumption the day of pumping, no infectious diseases, and that they practice safe and sterile handling of the breast milk they provide.


Tips on Communication with Seller:[top of page]

Create an email just for use on this site

When sending your first email, be sure to include city, zip code, and quantity needed along with any questions you may have from them. This will expedite your correspondences to help you narrow down your preferred sellers.

Only request private medical documentation from the seller you wish to purchase from after having them answer your prescreening questions. This helps protect our sellers from giving sensitive documents to everyone they contact who may or may not follow through with a purchase. Sellers should attach these documents for review in their PayPal Invoice sent to you. You can review the documents prior to completing payment when everything checks out.   


What to do once the shipment has arrived:[top of page]

•  Unpack the package as soon as it arrives

•  Wear gloves when opening up the cooler and check to make sure there is no dry ice left. If there is, take it out with gloves on and put it in a safe ventilated place where it won't damage anything and is away from small children, such as in the kitchen sink. Then properly discard after you have put away the breast milk.

•  Put the breast milk in a clean freezer that's been on and properly cooled for at least 24 hours. Stack newest to oldest date, so you will pull out and use the oldest ones first.


Proper handling, storing, thawing, and feeding :[top of page]

• Wash your hands before handling breast milk.

When thawing breast milk for later use just put in fridge where it takes up to 24 hours to thaw. Make sure to place breast milk bags in a sterile ziplock bag or a bowl in case the breast milk bag leaks while thawing.

Thawing for immediate use can be done by taking frozen breast milk and either putting under cool water and gradually warming up or placing in a bowl of warm water. Never warm or thaw in microwave or on stove.

Don't forget to pasteurize the breast milk.

• You can tell if breast milk is spoiled by tasting it or smelling it. If it doesn’t taste or smell sour then it’s still good.

• It’s ok to combine breast milk of the same temperature. Avoid combing breast milk if one is warmer then the other, as that will damage the breast milk. Wait for one to cool or the other to get to room temperature too.

 Gently swirl (never shake) any breast milk where the cream has settled on top. Then check temperature and warm if needed before serving to baby.

• Any unfinished breast milk is likely still safe to refrigerate and serve within one to two hours before tossing out.

• Do not refreeze fully thawed breast milk

HBHB Human Milk Storage Chart - click link for printable card you can use for personal use.


Local Pick-Up Guide:[top of page]

When meeting people you don’t know, I recommend only meeting in person in a safe, open, public location with your husband or someone you can trust to accompany you. I recommend that moms send their husband with out them for any meet ups that are men only. Never meet alone or at your home. If they won’t agree, then don’t risk it. Pass on the sale.

Pick a public, well used, and safe location for meeting up.

Setup location, date, and time to meet

If possible, buyer should bring their own cooler to transfer breastmilk into

For small orders and fresh breastmilk put large ice pack(s) in cooler to help keep cold. You can also put the cooler into the chest freezer to extend the cooling time in the cooler itself during transit.

Give payment in cash, do not use PayPal for local pick up.


 Help, my breast milk arrived partially thawed! Can I refreeze it or do I have to use what I can and throw the rest away after 24 hours?:  [top of page]

Good question and I found a wonderful answer that can cover that question in addition can help in the event a power outage may happen at your home and you want to know how to protect and save the precious breast milk.

 Smith, Anne IBCLC Ask Anne…Can I save my frozen breast milk during a power outage? Retrieved from https://www.breastfeedingbasics.com/qa/can-save-freezer-stash-breastmilk-power-outage

Here’s some information that may help you salvage some of your “liquid gold”.

Above all, stay safe.

Question: Help! We had a big storm here and the power went off. I’m afraid that I might lose my freezer stash of breast milk. I’m going back to work next week, and it took me months of pumping to store up all that milk. Is there anything I can do save my frozen breast milk during a power outage?

 

Answer: Try not to panic. Unless the power is out for extended periods of time and the milk is thawed out for more than a couple of days, chances are that you can save it.

Here are some guidelines about how to save your milk during power outages:

  •  If you know ahead of time that your power may go out, freeze plastic bags full of water and use them to fill the empty spaces in the freezer. Put the frozen milk toward the center of the freezer instead of against the walls. A full freezer holds its temperature longer than one that is partially empty.
  •  If you have access to a generator, use it to keep the food in your freezer frozen.
  •  If one of your neighbors still has power, see if they will let you store your milk in their freezer until your power comes back on.
  • If you do lose power, try to keep the milk from thawing . Fill empty spaces in your freezer or cooler with dry ice, “blue ice,” bags  of ice, or snow.  Covering the cooler with towels or blankets will help keep it insulated.
  • Put separate bags of breast milk into larger bags or plastic container to keep them from leaking in case they start to defrost.
  • Open the freezer door as little as possible. According to the USDA, “a full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.”
  • If there is still  a lot of snow on the ground, you can store the milk in a snow bankout of the sun, until the power comes back on, then return it to the freezer as soon as possible. You can also pack the freezer or cooler with snow to keep the milk frozen.
  • As long as the breast milk is still slushy or has ice crystals in it, then it isn’t considered defrosted, and it can be refrozen, even if more than 48 hours has gone by.  Milk that is partially thawed and then refrozen is safe to eat. It may lose some of its live immune factors, but is still better for your baby than formula, which doesn’t have any antibodies and live cells to begin with.
  •  A 2006 study looked at the effects of refreezing previously frozen milk. Researchers took frozen breast milk and thawed it, refroze it, refrigerated it and left it out at room temperature. They concluded that “Breast milk is fairly robust and does not grow bacteria easily nor lose vitamins A and C or free fatty acids  to any degree that would harm a full term baby.” They also found that the vitamin content was adequate for all the samples of refrozen milk, and none of the samples shad unsafe levels of bacteria.
  • Based on this research, your milk should be safe to use even if the milk has completely thawed, and there are no ice crystals left. If your aren’t sure about whether the milk has ‘spoiled’, see how it smells. If it’s spoiled, it will smell bad, just like  cow’s milk that has been left out too long.  Sometimes milk that has been frozen and thawed may have a ‘soapy’ smell, due to its fat content, but this isn’t the same as a spoiled milk smell, and doesn’t mean the milk is unsafe. You might want to leave as much thawed milk out as you think you can use within 24 hours or so, then refreeze the rest.
  •  These guidelines apply to healthy full term babies. If you have a preemie or a sick baby with an immune disorder, consult your doctor. He may recommend that the thawed breastmilk be used within 24 hours and not refrozen.

Anne Smith, IBCLC
Breastfeeding Basics

  • Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington

  • US Centers for Disease Control

  • US Department of Agriculture

  • HMBANA’s best practice, 2005.

  • David J. Rechtman, MD, Martin L. Lee and H. Berg, Effect of environmental conditions on unpasteurized donor human milk. Breastfeed Med 2006: 1(1):24-26. doi:10.1089/bfm.2006.1.24.

If you still have any further questions or if I have missed something useful that should be included, please let us know!

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