Breast Milk for Sale or for Sharing

It is well known that breast milk is the best food for babies.
Today, there is an expanding number of parents who look for informal breast milk, sharing groups and milk banks in order to supply their baby with this best possible nutrition. Before using sources other than the baby's mother own milk, please refer to the warning published November 30, 2010 by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of these sources.

Here are the risks:

Exposure to infectious diseases, including HIV.
Exposure to chemical contaminants such as some illegal drugs.
Exposure to prescription drugs that might be in the human milk, if the donor has not been adequately screened.
If human milk is not handled and stored properly, it could, like any type of milk, become contaminated and unsafe to drink.

If you are considering to feed your baby breast milk from source other than baby's mother FDA recommends the following :

Consult your baby's health care provider first because the nutritional needs of each baby depend on many factors including the baby’s age and health.
Don't feed your baby breast milk acquired directly from individuals or through the internet because the donor is unlikely to have been adequately screened for infectious disease or contamination risk.
If after consultation with your baby's health care provider, you decide to feed a baby with human milk from a source other than the baby’s mother, you should only use milk from a source that has screened its milk donors and taken other precautions to ensure the safety of its milk.
In some states there are required safety standards for such milk banks. FDA has not been involved in establishing these voluntary guidelines or state standards.

Resources for milk banks

You can contact your state’s department of health to find out if it has information on human milk banks in your area.
Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), a voluntary professional association for human milk banks.

Return from Breast Milk for Sale or for Sharing to Breastfeeding Guide

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