The Safer Way To Donate, Use Breast Milk

Oct 21, 2013

You may have heard about a new study to be published in the journal of the American Association of Pediatrics about finding high levels of harmful bacteria in breast milk bought from online sources. Here's USA Today's coverage of that study.

Your first question might be: you can buy breast milk? The answer is yes. But your next question might be: why would you?

There are lots of reasons why you might find yourself in need. Some moms can't make enough. Some moms have infectious diseases they don't want to pass on to their babies. Some babies have certain allergies. Others are born so prematurely their mother's milk hasn't yet come in.

Whatever your circumstances, there are safer means to obtain breast milk than buying it online. And if you're producing more than you need, there are great places to donate. Check out Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast, which screens donors and pasteurizes the milk. Milk banks like this can help you find a donor or donate. And hospitals work with banks like this to provide donor milk to sick babies, because experts say it's the next best thing to a baby's own mother's milk, if that's not available. Your health care provider might prescribe donor milk. And your health insurance might cover it.