Breast Milk Sold Online Is Secretly 'Topped Off' With Scary Ingredient

baby drinking from a bottleWe call it liquid gold and it's filled with all the best nutrients for a growing baby, and that's what makes breast milk such a hot commodity. But for some mothers who cannot develop enough milk to nourish their babies, there is another option: buying breast milk online. Unfortunately, it comes with risks. Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that nearly 10 percent of online-bought breast milk contains cow's milk, which is potentially very harmful to baby.


Two years ago, these same researchers found that more than 75 percent of the 102 samples they bought online and tested actually contained bacteria that was harmful to baby. Now, they found that online-bought breast milk isn't actually 100% pure breast milk, like we'd hope and expect

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Just about one in every 10 samples were "topped off" with cow's milk or infant formula. It's dangerous because most of the women who purchase breast milk online do so for babies with pre-existing medical conditions. Add, on top of that, a possible lactose allergy, and problems arise quickly. 

Sarah Keim, the lead study's lead researcher, estimates that about 55,000 people are either buying or selling breast milk online. And the latest research shows that not all are distributing, or using, clean product.

Instead, the doctors encourage moms to do their online breast milk shopping strategically.

First, Keim and her team advise moms to stay away from sites that advertise "pure breast milk." It really can be too good to be true. Secondly, avoid those sites that charge a fee. "When money’s involved, sellers may have an incentive to boost the volume of milk that they have available to sell," Keim says.

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If you're having trouble producing enough breast milk for your child, the first step should always be to speak with a pediatrician. Then, before you resort to online milk, you can devise a feeding plan that's health and safe for baby.

Have you ever considered buying breast milk online?



Image via Nationwide Children's Hosptial

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