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11/8/11

Would You Give Your Baby Someone Else's Breast Milk?

I did not even know that there was a breast milk bank. I think it's great that we have something like this and mothers who want to share their milk can do so, and parents who want their children to be nursed with breast milk, instead of formula, but can't do it themselves, can have this choice.

I am sure they put the necessary precautions of testings to ensure both milk and donors are healthy, but it would be so hard for me to accept giving someone else's milk to my newborn. And the interesting thing is: I wouldn't mind nursing someone's child.

But why do I feel this way?
I honestly don't know, but I know it's a good thing that we have this option in our society because nothing beat breast milk for a baby.

What do you think?

The rising demand for human breast milk in neonatal intensive care units has prompted an impassioned plea from America's milk banks. 
Donated milk, dubbed "liquid gold," can save the lives of preterm babieswhose moms can't produce milk themselves. But the 1.8 million ounces of milk distributed by non-profit milk banks across the country covers less than a quarter of the 8 million ounces needed, according to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. 
"We need every healthy, breast-feeding mom to say, 'I want to be a donor," said Kim Updegrove, the association's president elect. "Then we'd have enough milk for every preterm baby. Even a small amount is lifesaving." 
"All babies should receive human milk. But because it's a scarce resource, we prioritize it for preterm infants in neonatal intensive care who weigh three pounds or less," said Updegrove. "These babies respond the best in terms of decreased infection rates and shorter hospital stays."
But beyond those who need donor breast milk, few moms know about milk banks. All prospective donors have to do is fill out paperwork online and provide a blood sample at a local lab. The milk banks cover the cost of the screening process and, if approved, the cost of shipping and pasteurizing the milk. 
"There's no cost to the donor," 
There are 10 milk banks in the U.S., down from 30 in the pre-HIV 1980s. The virus closed every bank except for one -- the Mothers' Milk Bank in San Jose.
"We're almost to the point of diminishing returns, which would mean having to increase the price," said Sakamoto.
 
The increased price could mean more moms sharing online -- a practicediscouraged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because of the risk of disease. While the 10 milk banks under the Human Milk Banking Association of North America umbrella have strict standards for donor screening and pasteurization, informal milk sharing sites do not. 
"While it may be compassionate to share informally, it's unsafe medically and dangerous legally," said Updegrove. "You're sharing a body fluid with someone else's child." 
Sharing through milk banks, Updegrove said, ensures safe milk gets to babies who need it to live. 
"Human milk is not just best for these infants, it's absolutely lifesaving."

Read more here.



About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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2 comments :

  1. This idea kind of freaks me out but then again, I never breastfed any of my 3 children. I have heard about it and I suppose if mothers are serious about offering this option to their baby but can't this might be a good thing. Hmmm

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have proudly breastfed my 2 own babies until they started walking.

    I don't mind breasfeeding other babies if a REAL need arise, like if the baby is starving in front of me, no milk bottle around and no mom to take care of him/her.

    As for my own babies breastfeeding from other moms or using other woman's breastmilk, I will NOT let that happen. My reason, pride.

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