Milk Culture Collection Info

If there is any confusion about the milk culture, you, your dr. office or lab are welcome to call or email our office at 646-535-6833. Our fax number is 646-916-1699. We are available to support you if there are any issues at all with collection or with getting a referral from your doctor. Should you provide your milk sample for collection, please contact our office to notify us.

Instructions for the collection of your milk culture:

  • Ask your doctor to send you to Quest or Labcorp for a milk culture:
    Labcorp testing code for milk culture: 008003 Quest testing code for milk culture: 41327T
  • Call ahead and ask the lab (Quest or Labcorp whichever is in network for you) if they can provide you a sterile fluid continuer such as a sterile urine container to provide a milk sample – take your lab referral from your doctor when you go to the lab. Calling ahead reduces time & confusion when you arrive.
  • When you arrive, you  provide your referral & you will need to hand express milk into the container. Typically you’re going to want to collect “mid-stream” (see below). To make this more effective, ensure your breasts are fairly full and you may want to put some warm packs (such as winter hand warmer packs) on your breasts on your way to the lab for 5-10 minutes so that your breasts are ready to go before collecting the sample.

About Collecting a “mid-stream” Milk culture :

1. Go to bathroom
2. Label each container Right or Left and label with your name and DOB
3. Wash hands
4. Wash nipple with lab provided towelette, soap & water OR alcohol pad
5. Put down clean paper towel on counter, put cup on towel. Remove lid- put lid face up on towel so that the outside of the lid is touching counter and inside is face up. Ensure that you do not touch the inside of the milk collection cup or lid- this will contaminate the sample.
6. Express the first few drops of milk into sink/paper towel/ rag (collection is a “MIDSTREAM” collection)
7. Ensure you DO NOT TOUCH the sterile container to your breast, chest or fingers. Will need drops to drip into cup or spray milk into cup.
8. Hand express into the sterile container until you have about 10-15 ml (or until bottom of container is covered with milk).
9. Repeat the same on the other breast.
10. Bring script and labeled containers to the lab desk.