Nursing Mothers Use Facebook to Sell and Donate Breastmilk, Experts Have Mixed Views

Home Blog Nursing Mothers Use Facebook to Sell and Donate Breastmilk, Experts Have Mixed Views

There have been well-documented shortages of breast milk at donor banks across the country. The problem is more of an issue with parents of sick or premature infants since they may not be able to digest formula as well as human milk. There are many private Facebook groups dedicated to human breastmilk exchange. These private groups require approval by group administrators before joining have anywhere from 5,000 to 80,000 likes each or more.

Most of these Facebook groups focus on the donation of breastmilk. However, there are some Facebook groups and underground websites that have profited on the demand of breastmilk. In some cases, one ounce of it could cost from $3 to $16, which would result in hundreds of dollars a month in breastmilk, leaving only wealthy parents the ability to afford it. There is also a risk that the milk could be tainted. In 2015, an obstetrician of a breastmilk bank in California studied samples of breastmilk purchased online and found that 10% had been tainted with cow's milk. There haven't been many studies done with donor milk, but breastmilk from donor banks are pasteurized and tested for infectious diseases to ensure safety. Facebook donor groups don't have these types of guarantees. 

Read the full story from CNBC.

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