Buying Breast Milk Online: What You Need to Know Now

feeding baby

It's available to buy online, and people use breast milk -- aka liquid gold -- for all sort of things, including, yes, feeding their babies. But a recent investigation revealed that breast milk bought online contained bacteria that could be harmful to infants. Yikes!


To conduct its investigation, Inside Edition ordered breast milk online from eight different women and then took the samples to a breast milk expert, Dr. David Newburg. (Yes, there is such a thing as a breast milk expert -- who knew?!)

Dr. Newburg found that seven of the eight samples contained potentially dangerous bacteria. Four of the samples contained something called "gram negative bacteria," which apparently can cause infections. And Dr. Newburg says he wouldn't give any of those seven samples to a baby.

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Inside Edition also bought breast milk in person from a woman in New York City ... and the lab found the level of bacteria in the sample was "just too high to calculate."

Of course, it could just be that those were a lot of unlucky samples, but that's scary. I understand why parents want to give their babies breast milk, and it must be so upsetting if, for whatever reason, the baby's biological mom can't provide it herself.

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But the FDA recommendations on purchasing breast milk are clear: Don't feed your baby breast milk that you get through the Internet or from individuals. Instead, the FDA advises you find a local human milk bank, under the guidance of a health-care professional. Because even if the breast milk sellers -- or donors -- are doing their best to keep things sterilized, they just might not be aware of how or what they really need to be doing.

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The FDA points to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) as a resource for finding milk banks.

No matter what you feed your baby -- breast milk or formula -- the most important thing is that you're doing it out of love. That's the real source of nourishment.



Image via Pilin_Petunyia/Shutterstock

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