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Study: Most Online Donor Breast Milk Is Contaminated

You Wouldn't Accept Blood that wasn't tested...

breastfed baby

Bad news for moms struggling to breastfeed and turning to milk banks to give their babies the best nourishment. An article in NBC revealed that much of the human milk sold online is contaminated and dangerous.

A study published in Pediatrics found that the majority of milk from a site called contained "high levels of disease-causing bacteria."

“I can’t think of something you can buy online where you have less ability to validate the quality,” said lead researcher Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, Sarah A. Keim. “Even frozen milk was just as contaminated as thawed milk. There wasn’t a whole lot recipients can rely on to know that it’s OK.”

Unless an organized bank promises that its donor milk is screened and pasteurized, researchers suggest moms give it a wide berth.

Well-intentioned moms, like this awesome celebrity, may unwittingly be spreading bacteria—including coliform, staphylococcus and streptococcus—that could make a baby gravely ill. The problem, say researchers, stems from poor collection, storage or shipping processes.

“Besides bacterial contamination and viruses that could be in the milk, you could be exposing your infant to chemical contaminants, pharmaceuticals or drugs as well,” said Keim.

In my opinion, milk banks are as much a necessity as blood donor clinics, and yet as with these, safety must be at the fore. You wouldn't accept a transfusion without blood being properly tested. Milk is no different, since it can carry infections such as HIV and tuberculosis. 

Ever provided or accepted breast milk from a donor? Spill it.

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