Is It Safe to Buy Breast Milk Online?


You already order your groceries and pretty much everything else online. So why not human breast milk? If you’re a new mom who wants to give your baby breast milk but can’t, you might consider purchasing some liquid gold online. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises against providing infants human milk from unscreened donors, some mothers unable to feed their child breast milk are turning to the uncertainties of such donors.

For the study, “Cow’s Milk Contamination of Human Milk Purchased via the Internet,” in Pediatrics, researchers tested 102 internet samples of milk. They found that 11% of the samples were contaminated with store-bought cow’s milk or milk-based formula powder. And of the positive samples, 10 were high enough to rule out incidental contamination. Not only is this deceptive, (especially when you’re shelling out big bucks for human breast milk), but cow’s milk can be problematic in infants with a milk allergy or intolerance.

Because buyers have little way to test the milk they purchase online, parents should be aware the milk they are buying online might not be 100% human milk and use extreme caution. Use reputable sources or milk banks that can ensure the quality of the breast milk so that every bottle is safe for your baby.

Photo Credit: Tim Bish/Unsplash

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