Study Questions What You Are Getting By Buying Breast Milk Online
The practice is a growing trend as moms realize that breast milk has nutrients that infants need.
“We estimate more than 55,000 individuals are participating in the online exchange of human milk,” said Sarah Keim, PhD, author of the study and principal investigator of the Center for Biobehavioral Health at Nationwide Children’s.
“We wanted to put ourselves in the shoes of moms who might be buying this milk. You know they don’t have a laboratory in their kitchen, but they would really like to know whether this is something safe to feed their baby.”
The study tested 102 samples bought online last year.
And they found that more than 75 percent had high levels of bacteria that could make a baby sick.
Now a follow up study discovered some samples weren’t even pure breast milk.
”We found samples of milk we purchased online had notable amounts of cow’s milk or infant formula added to it,” said Keim.
“Drinking cow’s milk can be very harmful to a baby with an allergy or with intolerance to cow’s milk.”
Researchers warn mothers to stay clear of sites promising pure breast milk, especially those that charge.
“When money’s involved, sellers may have an incentive to boost the volume of milk that they have available to sell,” said Keim.
Their advice to moms who have trouble producing milk is talk to your pediatrician about which feeding plan is best for your baby.