PREM Bank: Collection and storage of breastmilk


The PREM Bank cannot use donated milk that has been contaminated in any way. One of the most important factors in safe handling and storage of human milk is routine hand washing. Careful attention to hand hygiene decreases the risk of contamination of pumps, pump parts, storage containers and expressed milk.  

As your breast pump kit (shield and bottles) will get regular use it is also important that particular attention is given to their cleaning between uses. This also ensures that milk expressed for your own baby will also be free from contamination.

Hand hygiene

Please follow the process below when expressing breast milk:
  • Before expressing or handling equipment, lather your hands with liquid soap and water for 30 seconds.
  • Pay particular attention around and under your finger nails when washing.
  • Use a paper towel to turn off the tap and dry your hands with a clean paper towel.
  • Apply the supplied alcohol gel as a safeguard when expressing and handling your pump kit, attachment pieces and breast.
Alcohol gel can be used up to six times without rewashing your hands. It is not necessary to wash your breast each time you express and a daily shower is adequate. Please keep your clothing away from clean pump parts and bottles when expressing.

Storage of donor milk

When you have finished expressing carefully pour the milk into the 500ml sterilised storage container provided. This is already sterilised and ready to use.

We cannot accept milk stored in breast milk bags.

  • Do not touch the inside of the cap or bottle at any time.
  • Replace the cap and label your bottle with the yellow EBM and donor sticker.
  • The first expression into each bottle is to be dated on the label.
  • Please leave a two centimetre (2cm) air space on top of the bottle for expansion when frozen.
  • Place bottle immediately into the coldest part of your freezer (the lowest shelf away from the door).
  • Fresh milk may be added to this bottle later in the day when you do another expression. This should be done carefully to avoid any contamination. 
  • Store frozen milk bottles separately from other items in a sealed container or bag.

Cleaning and disinfecting breast pump parts

  • Rinse all pieces that touch the milk with cold water first.
  • Using a bottle brush, wash equipment in hot soapy water and detergent - rinse well in hot water.
  • Prior to expressing for the PREM Bank, place breast shield, bottle, valve and membrane in the microwave sterilisation bag with 60mls of water. Seal and place in the microwave for three minutes.
  • Using caution, remove pieces from the bag (as they will be hot) and shake off excess water. All pieces are now ready to use.

Transporting milk to the PREM Bank

The PREM Bank is open 7.30am to 3.00pm Monday to Friday.  Please telephone or email prior to delivery to ensure a PREM Bank staff member will be available to accept your donation. The PREM Bank needs to accept your donated milk frozen. Please follow the advice below:
  • Transport your milk using a cooler bag or hard walled esky.
  • Use ice bricks or gel ice packs to keep cool. 
  • Ice or a water and ice mixture is discouraged, as your milk will defrost quicker.
  • Pack any air spaces with paper towels or clean towels
Please ensure that you collect milk according to the instructions provided.

Clean, sterilised equipment and thorough hand washing will enable PREM Bank to use your milk to feed babies in need.

Delivering your milk (please phone or email prior)

Car park delivery 

When you arrive and have secured a parking bay out the front of KEMH, please phone 6458 1207 or 0466 466 854. Alternatively, if there is no answer please phone switchboard on 6458 2222 and ask to page 3543.


Please present to the enquiries desk at the Bagot Road entrance to King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH). Ask the staff member to page the PREM Bank.


This publication is for general education and information purposes. Contact a qualified healthcare professional for any medical advice needed. 

© State of Western Australia, Child and Adolescent Health Service

Produced by: Neonatology
Reference: 1202
Last reviewed: 2019

This document can be made available in alternative formats on request for a person with a disability.

Last Updated: 05/02/2022