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                           Sunrise Health Region is part of the provincial Saskatchewan Health Authority 

About the Milk Drop

Milk Drop locations allow donor mothers to safely and conveniently drop off their milk. The Yorkton Milk Drop, which is located on the Maternity Ward of the Yorkton Regional Health Centre, ensures the safe handling, storage and transport of donated human milk.

Any mother who has a NorthernStar ID Number and is on the approved donor list may use a milk drop. At the time of drop off, the donation is logged and milk is secured using standardized collection criteria. Each container is labeled with the date and name or ID number. For redundancy, the ID number is also recorded on the outside of the bag.

Any questions related to donated milk, mothers’ health, ongoing donations or the collection and storage of milk is referred back to NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank. Milk Drops do not act as an agency of the Milk Bank; their role is to facilitate the acceptance and transfer of donor human milk to the NorthernStar Milk Bank.

How do mothers donate?

Women who are interested in the selfless act of donating their excess breast milk can get started today by calling NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank at 1-403-475-MILK (6455).

Once a mother is a registered donor, all drop offs are done by appointment only by calling Lactation Services at 306-786-0886.

How are donors screened?

Donors are screened for medical and lifestyle history through the use of a verbal and written questionnaire, including a document from the donor’s health care provider and a blood test. All donors receive instruction in the collection and handling of their milk. Donors inform the Milk Bank if they become ill or have any change in their health status, to determine whether, or when, they can continue to donate.

Where does the milk go after it is dropped off at the Yorkton Milk Drop?

Milk donations from mothers in Sunrise Health Region are safely shipped to NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank in Calgary. NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank is Canada’s only community-based milk bank. As a charitable organization, NorthernStar screens breastfeeding mothers as milk donors, accepting their excess milk as donations to be pasteurized in their laboratory and dispensed to sick babies in hospitals and in the community. Milk is triaged, ensuring the sickest babies receive the milk they need to thrive.

Why do babies need donated human milk?

Human milk donations are required because some mothers struggle with supply issues. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including hormonal, previous breast surgery like a reduction or a mastectomy, medications (chemotherapy) and trauma during delivery. Not to mention the stress associated with having a sick or premature infant, which takes its toll on a person. The babies who receive the donated milk are babies who are in the greatest need of the life-saving nutrients in the pasteurized donor human milk.

“In situations where mothers’ own milk is not available, provision of pasteurized, screened donor milk is
the next best option particularly for ill, or high-risk infants.”

~ World Health Organization/UNICEF Joint Statement ~

How did the Yorkton Milk Drop come to be?

The Yorkton Milk Drop, an idea that the Yorkton Area Parents for the Milk Drop and the Baby Friendly Initiative Working Group had in June of 2015, is now a reality. Thanks to the hard work and fundraising efforts of the Yorkton Area Parents for the Milk Drop, we now have a freezer located in the Maternity Ward of the Yorkton Regional Health Centre. Because of the generous donations from the community, Sunrise Health Region has the ability to store and safely ship human milk donations from mothers in the region to NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank where it is pasteurized and triaged to babies in need.