October 22, 2013

Why Buy The Breast Milk On The Internet, When You Can Get The Salmonella For Free?

Breast milk obtained online, whether through informal markets or donations, was found to have pathogenic bacteria and other contaminants. These include staph and salmonella, which can pose a significant health risk to preterm and medically compromised newborns. Who, if they need extra breast milk, would probably be getting it from a milk bank, no? Anyway, the American Academy of Pediatrics is not that thrilled about informal online breast milk trafficking, is what they're saying.

UPDATE And as Alison points out in the comments, breastfeeding researchers are not that thrilled about that study either, which collected its samples only from folks who'd send milk with no screening and no questions asked. [i.e., donors or communities who were contacted, but sought more information before sending were dropped from the study.] Also, not all bacteria are bad, and not all other methods of feeding a kid are bacteria-free, so more bacteria than what, basically? Anyway, much to read up on.

Breast Milk donated or sold online is often tainted, study says [nyt]
Microbial Contamination of Human Milk Purchased Via the Internet [aappublications.org]

1 Comment

After being a part of an online support group for women with chronic low milk supply, I have learned a lot about milk sharing. While it's probably still not in my comfort zone, a lot of the smart women in that group had not-so-nice things to say about the methodology of that study.
Here's a rebuttal from an MD and breastfeeding researcher:
http://bfmed.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/online-milk-sales-beyond-buyer-beware/

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