Helping to support families through times of crisis

We support families to feed their babies, including parents with premature or sick babies in neonatal intensive care, and families at home such as parents with health conditions such as cancer, and those who need support to overcome challenges with breastfeeding and establish their own milk supply. We believe in a world where every baby has access to human milk – either mum’s own milk or safe, screened donor milk if this is not available. We are working hard to try to make this vision a reality.

Thanks to everyone who has generously donated to the Human Milk Foundation, we have supported over 400 families facing breastfeeding challenges and we supply donor milk to over 50 NHS hospital neonatal intensive care units in England & Wales.

Here we share some of the incredible stories of the babies and families we’ve supported.

Koan's story

Koan was born with a rare genetic condition and received donor milk from the HMF. Watch Koan’s parents - Shurron and Kel tell their amazing story.


Ada's story

Ada was born prematurely during lockdown and spent her first week in NICU. We provided donor milk as mum Lucy could not provide her own due to previous mastectomy surgery. Ada absolutely thrived on donor milk reaching and then surpassing her birth weight by day 17.


Alby's story

Mum Anna was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was pregnant with Alby. She started chemotherapy shortly after his birth and Alby received donor milk from HMB which he thrived on.


Indigo's story

Indigo received donor milk from the Hearts Milk Bank following three weeks in neonatal intensive care where he was seriously unwell with Meconium Aspiration Syndrome.


James' story

James was born at 32 weeks and mum Ruth was extremely unwell for the first days and weeks of his life. He received donor milk whilst in NICU whilst she recovered and her milk supply came in.


Seren & Rowan's story

Twin baby girls Seren & Rowan were born 2 months early. They spent their first 10 days in NICU and were fed with donor milk as mum was very unwell.


Stories from other families we've helped

Donor milk for a mum after mastectomy surgery

In 2018 I had preventative mastectomy surgery – gratefully I had found out my risk of developing breast cancer in my lifetime was huge due to a faulty gene known as BRCA1. From the age of 8 I knew my mum was dealing with breast cancer, for what would be 20+ years. My husband and I had been told “breastfeed your future children first” which we initially agreed with, but after a lot of research we decided that the risk, stress and anxiety associated with waiting for risk-reducing surgery was too much and we made the decision that I would have a preventative mastectomy.

A year after the mastectomy surgery we got pregnant and the guilt set in, realising I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed our children. Does this mean I’m not doing the best for them after all? But the surgery was more important right? When we found Hearts Milk Bank and spoke to the wonderful team, we realised that the best of both worlds could really happen. I was protected and we could give our daughter the best start in life.

Thanks to Hearts Milk Bank, we were able to give our extremely hungry newborn baby donated milk for the first 5 weeks of her life. We treated this like gold dust! As a father, David was able to feed our daughter just as much as me. Their bond is incredibly close and we wouldn’t change that for the world. Hearts Milk Bank gave us something extraordinary that we are forever grateful for as we watch our healthy and happy daughter grow and explore the world.


Donor milk for a mum with low milk supply

I sadly had problems with low milk supply for unclear reasons. I tried absolutely everything but nothing would budge my supply above 30% of my baby Ren’s needs. I was desperate for Ren to receive breast milk, not only for nutritional needs but also because formula gave her agonising heartbreaking colic after every feed.

I found out about Hearts Milk Bank and a week later Ren was on donor milk. The change in her was just astounding. She put on nearly half a kilo in 2 weeks such that climbed centiles and was so much happier in herself – the colic symptoms disappeared and we went from mere minutes of calm alert time per day to 3 hours. The relief for me too, knowing that she was receiving good nutrition and relieved of pain and distress made a profound difference to my wellbeing – to be frank, it was the first time I was able to enjoy motherhood and wasn’t in tears most days.

Everyone at the milk bank was exceptional in their compassion, professionalism and expertise and provided superb breastfeeding support. It is difficult to express how grateful we are to the milk bank, and how indebted we feel to you and the donors. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts

Want to tell your story?

We love to hear about how The HMF have helped you and your family. Please fill in our form below to let us know

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We need your help

Donor milk is still a scarce and precious resource and not every baby who could benefit can receive it. There are thousands of other families who need our help.

We will not rest until every baby in need has access to human milk which can be potentially life saving.

Please help us to support parents & babies by donating whatever you can. Every pound really does make a difference.