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"I LOVE donating milk, especially since I have far too much of it, and love knowing I can give other babies a nutritious start in life"

Dena F. (breastmilk donor) - Noordhoek

As a mother and a registered midwife and nursing sister nursing premature and sick babies, I urge mothers to donate breast milk especially if you have plenty. Your milk gives these small babies hope and a chance at life.”


Lucile, NICU Nursing Sister & Recipient Baby's Mom, Cape Town

"Donating breastmilk to Milk Matters was the best thing I could have done for anybody as anything could have gone wrong with me and my baby but God protected us and I thought this was my way of saying thank you and paying it forward."

Jacky R (breastmilk donor) - Strandfontein

"It has felt good to donate milk and be able to give something to babies who are not so lucky and are not blessed with a mother who can breastfeed them."

Debbie S. (breastmilk donor) - Plumstead
Milk Matters

When would breastmilk need to be pasteurised?

Research indicates that pasteurising breastmilk destroys potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.

  • It is therefore standard practice, all over the world, to pasteurise donor milk before giving it to recipient babies
  • Mothers who are HIV positive should be given the option of pasteurising their breastmilk for their babies. It is immaterial whether their babies are premature or not

Three methods of Heat Treating / Pasteurisation Breastmilk are described below.

  1. Pretoria Pasteurisation
  2. Flash Pasteurisation
  3. Holder Pasteurisation

Pretoria Pasteurisation

Research conducted by Jeffrey B.S et al, J Trop Paeds 2000


  • 1Lt Hart pot (milk warmer)
  • 450gr Glass Peanutbutter jar
  • Kettle or other utensil in which to boil water
  • Clock / timer


  • Label glass jar with baby's name, the date and time
  • Mother expresses 50 to 150ml into glass jar
  • Close lid and place jar into 1Lt pot
  • Pour boiling water - 450ml or 2cm below pot brim
  • May need weight on top of jar
  • Leave standing for ½ hr
  • Remove milk, cool, administer to baby or store in fridge

Flash Pasteurisation

Research conducted by Israel-Ballard K. et al, JAIDS Oct 2005


  • 1Lt Hart or similar pot
  • 450gr Peanut butter or similar glass jar
  • Stove / fire (Needs reasonably intense heat)


  • Label glass jar with baby's name, the date and time
  • Mother expresses 50 to 150ml into glass jar
  • Cover jar
  • Place jar into pot / pan
  • Add (room temp) water into pot to 2cm above milk level (about 450ml)
  • May need weight on top of jar
  • Bring the water to rapid boil - remove milk immediately from both the water and heat source
  • Cool milk, administer to baby or store in fridge

Table of Nutritional Comparison between Pretoria and Flash Methods (by Israel-Ballard K. et al, JAIDS Oct 2005 )

Holder Method


  • Locally manufactured Holder Pasteurization Unit available (Details available from Milk Matters)
  • Glass jars of the same size with well sealing lids and similar amounts of milk in each jar.


  • Unit is filled with tap water to a specified level
  • Unit is switched on and warms water to a minimum of 62.5°C
  • Jars of milk are submerged in Pasteurization Unit basket
  • Temperature of 62.5 °C is automatically maintained for 30 minutes
  • The buzzer will sound and the basket with jars must be removed

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