Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Know where that breast milk's been?

…The Washington Post had a story by Shannon Henry on the safety of donated breast milk.

…Everyone knows that breast milk is good for babies, better than formula, if a mother can possibly nurse.

…This is the general rule, but there can be exceptions.

…There are 10 nonproft milk banks that match mothers and donors and are accredited by the Human Milk Banking Assn of North America (

…There are also for-profit banks and wet nurses.

…Other people swap milk with neighbors and friends.

…HA had never heard of this organizational network. Others worry that it is too underground and not regulated enough.

…HIV and syphilis can pass through milk. Many banks shut down during the height of the AIDS epidemic, but are reopening.

…If you want breast milk for your baby and cannot nurse or are on medication or something, the first step is to go to an accredited HMBANA milk bank. They freeze the milk and ship it for as little as $2.90 an ounce.

…Another approach would be to a doctor who knows the donor and can test the milk.

…You need to be careful of for-profit places, which could be scammy and offer chalk mixed with water or have poor or no quality control. Think about it—if a woman is selling her breast milk, she has just had a baby and may be overwrought or eating a poor diet because of lack of money.

…Other sites offer wet nurses. One place, in Hollywood, started this because women with implants were having trouble nursing. These women may charge $1000 a week or more.

…Some mothers in a community, the story said, nurse each other’s babies. Remember, each woman has different antibodies.

…Breast milk is medicine as well as food. Proceed intelligently.

1 comment:

Star said...

Here is a PS:

Milkscreen® is the first ever at-home breast milk test that analyzes for the presence of alcohol in less than two-minutes and provides mothers with a clear positive or negative reading. The product was created by two Austin, TX mompreneurs and is sold in packs of six strips per box.