Underground trade in raw breast milk?

Yet another demographic that has their own reasons for trading in raw milk, nevermind that it’s of human instead of bovine origin:

Yet another human for whom raw milk makes a difference. Photo via The Verge tech news website.

From Katie Drummond, on The Verge:

For new parents, there’s no avoiding the adage that “breast is best.” Major health agencies, including the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatricians, have long concurred that breast milk is the ideal source of nutrition for infants — especially in the first six months of their lives. But what if that breast milk came from another woman? And what if you ordered it over the internet?

Since around 2005, the business of online breast milk exchange has boomed. Websites like Only The Breast and Milk Share offer thousands of listings, either from parents looking to sell excess breast milk or from those hoping to purchase some product. The posts read like a series of personal ads for human mammary fluids: broken into categories like “selling in bulk,” “fat babies,” and “special diet,” each advertisement allows interested parties to learn about a seller’s age, location, lifestyle, and maybe even peep a few pictures of their newborn. “Chubby 80th percentile baby willing to share!!” reads one listing, accompanied by a photo of a well-fed infant. Another touts that “my milk is gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free,” while a third brags that “my husband and I are both ex pro-athletes for NBA and WNBA.”

But according to the first-ever study examining the safety of online breast milk sales, the phenomenon isn’t nearly as healthy as the alleged lifestyles of some mothers involved. A team out of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, reporting in Pediatrics, conducted something of a sting operation to investigate the contents of 101 breast milk samples acquired from the web. They found that 74 percent of the milk failed to meet safety standards, with some samples containing fecal matter and others contaminated with salmonella or E.coli bacteria….”

Read more on The Verge.

1 Comment

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One response to “Underground trade in raw breast milk?

  1. If you do a bit of a history lesson, it’s not true that pediatricians have always advised mom’s to breastfeed. That’s false information because for YEARS pediatricians (the AAP) pushed formula (many, many of them still do because I used to work in the pediatric industry and have witnessed this horrid phenomenon) and the reason they push them is because these doctors are the ones who help develop formulas and make huge profits from the sale of them. That’s one of the reasons they LOVE to give away free samples at their offices and in the hospitals – nevermind that a baby’s body has simply no idea what to do with those added synthetic fake vitamins. You can smell those vitamins in the baby pee in diapers, and it’s very strong. You just know those vitamins aren’t stopping along the way to DO anything – they’re going in one end and straight out the other and doing the baby’s gut far more harm than good.

    I also think it’s another reason many ob/gyn’s push c-sections for various and sundry women who really don’t need them. No breast milk = no breast feeding. It’s a given that about 99% of women will feed formula rather than make their own, homemade baby formula.

    But yes, history tells us that in the 1920’s, the 1950’s and the 1970’s most especially, many “baby doctors” were discouraging breast feeding.

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