Donor Milk Program

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Of the thousands of babies born at Grand River Hospital each year, more than 700 need to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because they are sick or born too early (preterm). 

One of the critical factors in helping preterm babies get healthy (and go home) is breast milk. Breast milk is easier for babies to digest; coats and protects the stomach; boosts the infant’s immune system; and naturally protects against infections. Breast milk also contains critical proteins and bioactives (enzymes and hormones) necessary for a baby’s physical and mental growth. Amazingly, the amount of proteins and bioactives in a woman’s milk is higher in preterm mothers than it is in mothers who carry to term. That sounds great in theory, but sometimes the mother’s milk is not available or not enough is produced.

That’s where donor breast milk comes in. Grand River Hospital gets breast milk from the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank. The milk comes from pre-screened donors and is pasteurized – a treatment to remove potentially harmful bacteria or viruses. While it’s not quite as effective and protective as the milk from the infant’s own parent, it’s the next best thing and preferable to formula.

The cost to Grand River Hospital is $5 per 30 mL. In 2020, the Donor Milk Program cost $40,000.


Select your donation amount, or enter a custom donation amount above.

Once you have selected your donation amount and clicked donate, it will take you to a shopping cart experience. From there you can review your total and then click complete payment at the bottom of the screen before being taken to a secure payment information page.


Tax receipts are automatically sent once you have completed your payment information and checked out. If you do not see an email come through with your tax receipt, please check your junk or spam email folders. The email subject line is Grand River Hospital Foundation Donation Receipt.

If you still cannot find it, please contact Jesse Borden, Fulfillment Manager & Donor Advocate at 226-750-2074 or for support. 

When donating, any information entered in the billing address fields on the payment screen will be used to generate an automatic tax receipt. If a company name is added here, the tax receipt will be issued to the company.

If your donation is in honour of a friend or loved one, you can email them a digital e-card upon making a donation.

E-cards are available for donations made in memory and in celebration of someone, and each e-card allows you to customize the message being sent. In order to send an e-card, you will need to know the recipient's email address.

When you reach the completed payment screen, you will see the available e-card options, or you can click this link to send an e-card and message directly.

The Foundation will only notify individuals upon request. You can use the cart note function to provide a message and contact details for the recipient.