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Lactation & Milk Donation

For mothers wanting lactation to stop there are some steps you can take for comfort as your supply reduces

  • Express just enough milk to stay comfortable by hand expressing or using a breast pump, gradually reducing expressions. To hand express, hold your breast with your fingers a few inches back from the areola. Push your hand back toward the chest wall, then roll your fingers forward toward the nipple, taking care not to slide your fingers over the skin. Allowing some milk to flow will decrease the chances of blocked milk ducts, infections, and serious engorgement.

  • Sit in a warm bath leaning into the water or lean under the warm water of a shower as this can stimulate some milk to flow

  • Wear a comfortable but supportive bra that does not restrict your circulation

  • When your breasts feel painful use cool cold-water flannels and paracetamol to help with the discomfort


Some parents may have stored breast milk they would like to donate, some mothers may also be interested in expressing for donation, please speak with the healthcare professionals on the Neonatal/PICU unit who will be able to discuss this with you and liaise with the milk banks.

The Human Milk Foundation a UK registered charity operated by Hearts milk bank have specific experience in working with parents who would like to donate after a baby has died. They can be contacted by telephone on 07732 019040 or via email at

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