Warning Over Breast Milk Sold Online
They want to do it, but many new mothers simply cannot breastfeed.
Some have trouble expressing breast milk, while others struggle to get the baby to latch on or have pain when they do. With the best of intentions, some moms resort to buying breast milk online, which, it turns out, can pose risks.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics analyzed samples of breast milk bought online. The Internet breast milk contained bacteria, including strains of staphylococcus and streptococcus. Twenty-one percent of the Internet-sourced samples even included cytomegalovirus, or CMV, a virus that can cause serious neurological effects.
Study author Sarah Keim, assistant professor of pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, conveyed information about the risks and the quality of breast milk bought on the Internet.
Other experts agree that the Internet can be very risky.
“Breast milk is a bodily fluid and has the potential to transmit bacterial and fungal infections to a baby who has an immature immune function,” said ABC News’ senior medical contributor and practicing OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton. “There is no standardization of the handling or screening. It’s like playing Russian roulette with your baby’s life.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns against using the Internet as an option for receiving shared breast milk.
Lactation consultant Pediatricians agree, if you don’t know how the breast milk was collected, stored or shipped, it’s not worth the risk. Purchasing breast milk over the Internet can harm your newborn.