Breast Milk for Sale: : Real Thing or Old Wives Tale?

By  | 

Breast milk is the oldest form of nourishment present for babies but it is becoming a growing industrial commodity. Commercialization of breast milk is not a new concept in today’s world, however, it is the rising one. A long time ago, wet nurses were called when mothers had trouble breast feeding their child. Now, if your baby is born with complications or suffers from a medical condition whose cure is the consumption of breast milk, a milk bank can be used to order breast milk online.

The ‘liquid gold’ selling market does not just include mothers who buy breast milk for their infants but also body builders who believe that it helps in the building of muscle mass and increasing their stamina. In countries like Britain, half of breastfeeding mothers share their milk online. Initially, the breast milk was distributed for free in order to help mothers who cannot produce breast milk. It was more of a philanthropic deed carried out in order to make a considerable impact in people’s lives.

Internet and Milk Banks

With the demand of time, selling breast milk became a money making business. People sell and buy milk through the internet. The estimate cost is around $4 per ounce which is a considerable amount. People need to be careful while dealing with breast milk online as not all sites are reliable. A great deal of data has been found on people taking advantage of parents who are in desperate need for breast milk for their child. Although breast milk comes with a price tag now, there are still some websites who believes in donating it, but their pasteurization is questionable.

Is it safe?

With the increasing demand for breast milk arises the concern of its safety. Unpasteurized milk could contain viruses and bacteria like: HIV, cytomegalovirus (CMV), salmonella and staphylococcus. According to a study by Dr. Sara Keim in 2013, the samples that were bought online, 3/4th of them failed the criteria for bacteria levels at a donor milk bank. A follow-up of this study disclosed 10% dilution with cow’s milk or formula of the online sample. This could result in a severe problem if the person consuming them is allergic to either of the products.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in 2010, opposed on feeding babies breast milk that was obtained either directly or through the internet. The risks are greater than the benefits as there is a possibility of babies catching infectious diseases. A Stanford University study which took place in 2009 tested 1091 women who were willing to donate their breast milk. Out of them, 36 were diagnosed positive for HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis. Other risks include usage and exposure to drugs which could be fatal for the newborns.

While there are so many benefits to breastfeeding babies over formula feeding, mothers should use extreme caution when considering purchasing milk from online retailers or milk banks. There are so many risks associated with buying someone else’s breast milk that the upmost care and research should be done prior to feeding your baby someone else’s breast milk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>