Every drop counts

Raising more healthy babies!

The Breastmilk Bank affords breast-feeding mothers, the opportunity to donate their excess breast milk to vulnerable, abandoned and orphaned babies in the iThemba Lethu Transition Homes in Manor Gardens, Durban, KwaZulu Natal.

Passionate and willing breastfeeding donor moms are screened (and if qualify) their breast milk is pasteurized, labeled and recorded, before their milk can be given to the babies in the transition homes.

As breast milk is the best form of nutrition for babies, the health and well-being of these little lives improves significantly. The immunity benefits of breastmilk make it especially beneficial for those babies who are HIV infected.

Want to donate your breast milk? Or can you refer to a breastfeeding mom? Please complete this form:

The value of this liquid gold

The iThemba Lethu Breastmilk Bank is the first community-based human milk bank in South Africa. It was opened in 2001 by Professor Anna Coutsoudis, who had a vision to restore a destiny of hope and promise to those babies and children whose futures were at risk of being negatively impacted by HIV/AIDS.

When the first baby arrived at the iThemba Lethu Transition Home, he was very ill. Prof Coutsoudis asked a friend who was breastfeeding her own baby to express some extra milk for this baby for a few days. The improvement in this baby was so dramatic that the dream to open a breastmilk bank began. Prof. Coutsoudis then approached UNICEF for funding to set up the breastmilk bank. Breastmilk is the gold standard for infant nutrition and is especially beneficial for HIV-infected babies and those whose health has been compromised in other ways.

The orphaned and abandoned babies in our care at our two Transition Homes receive donor breastmilk. Where possible, we also provide breastmilk to babies in neonatal ICU’s at private and public hospitals.

The Breastmilk Bank affords breast-feeding mothers the opportunity to donate their excess breastmilk. We truly believe that EVERY DROP COUNTS and that by donating breastmilk you can save a baby’s life!

We would also like to acknowledge our partners who have made collection and distribution of breastmilk all the more efficient and effective:

  • Jill Pyrz (International Breastmilk Bank Project)
  • Dominique Brown (Quick International) 

Herewith for added inspiration and podcast on the benefit of breast milk – please share the love with others:


For more information you can contact Anni between 8am – 1pm Monday to Friday on 083 861 6717 or send an email to breastmilkbank@ithembalethu.org.za

iThemba Lethu

26 Archer Crescent 
Manor Gardens
KwaZulu Natal
South Africa

0663146953 (WhatsApp)