Shared human milk (1971)

Key points below

Pasteurized and unpasteurized shared human milk in the hospital

What is shared human milk?

It is human milk that is not from a child’s birth parent or legal guardian. There are two types:

We understand that you want to offer your child the best nutrition possible. It is important to understand the risks of giving your baby USHM.

Unpasteurized Shared Human Milk (USHM) has not been treated with high heat to kill germs.

It may have:

It may also be unsafe when clean storage, transport and personal care steps are not used.

This can happen if even if it’s from someone you know. USHM can make your baby sick if hands, body, dishes, clothes and laundry are not cleaned well.

This human milk is sold on the internet and can be changed and unsafe. All infants are at risk from the effects of USHM. Infants who are born early, in the hospital, or whose immune systems are suppressed are even more at risk for problems.

How does Children’s Wisconsin respond to shared human milk?

We do not allow USHM to be fed to infants or children in our care. This is hospital policy. Children’s does allow PDHM for use. Ask your nurse for a Lactation Consult to learn more about buying PDHM.

Pasteurized Donor Human Milk (PDHM) has been treated with high heat to kill germs and is screened for safety. Strict standards are used.

What other options do I have?

We can provide formula to help meet your baby’s needs, while you are in the hospital.

Other teaching sheets that may be helpful

#1403 Breastmilk in the hospital


Call Lactation Management Service (414) 266-1757 if you have any questions or concerns related to this teaching sheet.