The fact that mothers are buying breast milk from strangers online is a perfect example of how brainwashed we’ve become. In a desperate attempt to feed baby breast milk, mommies are flocking to the Internet to purchase from total strangers with no idea (or control) over what the surrogate pumper is eating or drinking on the other end of cyberspace. My guess is that these well-to-do mothers have no way of verifying the milk nor do they have the means to test every bottle for contaminants, narcotics, alcohol, etc. Garbage in…garbage out.
Sarah Keim, lead author of a study in November’s Pediatrics has this to say about the results after testing online breast milk samples weighed against “milk bank samples”:
In all samples analyzed, the Web-purchased milk has proven to be higher bacteria counts and were more likely to contain disease-related types of bacteria, even though the donated milk from the milk banks had yet to be pasteurized:
— 72% had any detectable gram-negative bacteria, which are associated with bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, meningitis and fecal contamination vs. 35% of milk bank samples
— 63% tested positive for staphylococcus vs. 25% of milk bank samples
— 36% tested positive for streptococcus vs. 4% of milk bank samples
— 3% were contaminated with salmonella vs. none of the milk bank samples.
All of the samples tested negative for HIV, says Keim, but the laboratory analysis to determine “the authenticity” of the breast milk is just beginning, she says, adding: “We’re a little suspicious of some of the milk.”
Although I’m a proponent of breast-feeding and believe that mother’s milk is ALWAYS the best option (in spite of what high fructose formula cans claim) this concept is so risky that it should be added to the child endangerment list.
I am appalled that any mother would consider buying breast milk from a stranger online. I wonder how many of these “convenience moms” don’t think twice about heating breast milk in the microwave? My guess is that If they don’t consider the dangers of online purchasing I doubt they’d think twice about radiating their breast milk supply before they feed it to their baby. Sad but true.
Wet nurse employment agencies were big business in the 1800’s (prior to the development of baby formula). Maybe it’s time to bring them back. It sure seems like a more humane option to me.
ADVOCATING FOR CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD
ONE CHILD AT A TIME!