Online breast milk raises concerns
A new study is warning mothers to be careful if they get their breast milk online.
The study in the journal "Pediatrics" found milk purchased on milk sharing and social media sites is more likely to contain salmonella and other bacteria that cause infections in infants.
Some mothers call it liquid gold.
Getting breast milk online is a growing trend across the country.
Jennifer Rousch says that she had no choice but to seek online help for her son.
"He couldn't breathe through his nose," Rousch said. "He was having to stop a lot. He wasn't nursing long enough. He wasn't fully empting my breast."
But the study released today raises a red flag for people like Blessing Hospital Lactation Specialist Peggy Litt.
"It just points out some of the disadvantages and some of the concerns we have with buying milk ... getting milk from anyone you don't know without the milk being pasteurized." Litt said.
Litt says that milk from a reputable source like the
Human Milk Banking Association of North America
is safe to use.
Milk banks that are part of the milk banking association actually have to meet very strict criteria and guidelines as far as milk handling and milk safety," Litt said. " So you have no concern about contaminants that's purchased from a milk bank."
But some mothers are turning to websites like Human Milk 4 Human Babies instead of a milk bank.
A search of the website clearly states that it has no screening process for the milk that people get from the site.
"When you don't know the person you're purchasing the milk from, you have no idea what their hygiene standards are, how they handle the milk, how they store the milk in their own home, how clean the pump is all of those things can affect any potential contaminants in the breast milk." Litt said.
Litt encourages mothers who have extra breast milk to donate it to a reputable source like the
Human Milk Banking Association