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We transform gifts of breastmilk into high-quality donor milk for premature infants, with a focus on nutrition, growth, and Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) prevention. At the University of California Health Milk Bank our mission is to ensure every infant in our community has access to safe, high-quality donor milk.

We do this by elevating the standard in newborn nutrition for vulnerable babies and providing love in every drop. Partnering with community professionals to promote equity and equal access to donor milk for all infants in the region is at the heart of our efforts.

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alison-wolfExecutive Director ~ Alison Wolf CPNP, IBCLC

Alison Wolf’s journey from registered nurse in the NICU to her current role as a pediatric nurse practitioner and Executive Director of the UC Health Milk Bank demonstrates her unwavering commitment to improving infant health and nutrition. With her background in nursing from UCLA and specialized focus on equitable access to donor breast milk, Alison is committed to ensuring all infants receive the nutrition they need to thrive, regardless of their circumstances.

Donor Coordinator
Stephanie Lehman, PhD
Donor Coordinator
Mayra Rivera Ramirez, BSN
Business Manager
Sabrina Moxcey, MHA
Milk Lab Technician
Micah Estanislao, BSN
Milk Lab Technician
Welney Huang, BSN
Milk Lab Technician
Nguyen Nguyen, BSN








Medical Advisory Board


Human Milk for Premature Infants

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states human milk is the optimal nutrition for Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) infants and decreases the risk of significant complications of prematurity, most notably NEC. When mothers’ own milk is not available or sufficient, pasteurized donor human milk is recommended.

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Micah NEC Society

NEC Prevention

NEC is a leading cause of infant death, impacting thousands of babies every year. It is a devastating intestinal disease that primarily affects babies born prematurely or with a medical complication. We know that the use of human milk (not formula) can significantly reduce the risk of NEC.

NEC Society


A Milk Donation Journey

Milk donation is a vital gift know to improve health outcomes and helps the lives of vulnerable infants. Every family has their own donation story. Our donors spend time, love, and energy in pumping, labeling, and safely storing their milk. They meticulously care for each drop to ensure the best nutrition for vulnerable infants in the community and to support other mothers and families. Each milk donation journey is unique.

Milk Donor Life Video


Love In Every Drop: Nutritional Analysis

At UC Health Milk Bank, we truly believe there is love in every drop. Milk donations are analyzed with a top-of-the-line milk analyzer to check for protein, fat, and carbohydrates. We share this information with our donors so they can know how they are helping other infants to grow and thrive. We then use this information to pool milk in each batch to ensure a specific amount of protein in calories in every bottle.

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The Power of Human Milk

Dr. Stephanie Lehman and her daughter Izzie share their emotional journey of fighting for Izzie's life as a preterm baby in the NICU, the power of human milk, and the many superheroes along the way. "As these families enter a fight for their baby’s life, knowing they can provide lifesaving human milk can change everything – it can not only save their baby, but can be the whole family’s life line."

Watch "16 Days" Video


The Donor Milk Process

UC Health Milk Bank is a non-profit, HMBANA accredited milk bank that transforms the precious gift of milk into high quality donor milk for vulnerable infants in needs. Multiple quality and safety steps ensure we set the Standard in Newborn Nutrition.

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The Science of Human Milk

Human milk is nothing short of miraculous. Fortunately, at UC San Diego Health, top scientific minds are invested in learning more about its secrets. Julia Cormano, M.D., F.A.C.O.G, speaks with Lars Bode, Ph.D., about the significance of human milk, highlighting its diverse benefits for infants and mothers. They explore its unique properties and practical implications for healthcare and society on a global scale.

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Creating a More Equitable Future Through Human Milk

The Human Milk Institute (HMI) brings organizations at the forefront of human milk research, clinical care, milk banking, education, and public and global health together to expand the understanding of human milk they we can apply that knowledge and improve lifelong health worldwide.

UC San Diego Human Milk Institute


Mommy’s Milk: Human Milk Research Biorepository

Human milk is the best source of nourishment for infants. Mommy’s Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository strives to understand the numerous benefits human milk offers at a molecular level, and use these findings to improve the health and development of all children. This initiative demonstrates the biorepository at the forefront of human milk and lactation discoveries.

Mommy's Milk Biorepository


Cherry Blossom Family Program

The UC Health Milk Bank Cherry Blossom program was created to support bereaved families after fetal demise or neonatal/infant death. Our hope is to fill a much-needed gap in service by providing education, supplies and support for these families so they can comfortably wean or pump and donate their milk.  We make sure to acknowledge each of these women as moms and honor their babies with our memorial cherry blossom mural.  For many, donating milk is a time for healing; a time to connect with their child, take control of an unimaginable situation, and save the lives of other babies. 

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Access to Medically Necessary Nutrition for Vulnerable Infants

California bill AB 3059 will help address disparities in health care, enabling vulnerable babies and their families to more easily access donor milk and increase the provision of life-changing nutrition at hospitals. The bill would ensure parity and require that all commercial plans provide coverage for medically necessary donor milk. The bill would exempt hospitals from having a tissue bank license to distribute donor milk to babies in the NICU.

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riverside-inland empire-milk

UC Riverside Milk Depot Grand Opening

UC Riverside Health just opened a milk depot to help babies in the Inland Empire! This milk depot allows local, approved families in Riverside and San Bernardino counties drop off their extra breastmilk in a convenient location near their home. Milk is sent to the UC Health Milk Bank for testing and processing and distributed to babies in need. For more information on donation, please go to the UC Health Milk Bank website. 

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