I read this past Friday that the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) issued a warning to women who get donated breast milk from Facebook. That seemed a little wild to me – my thoughts were how sanitary is this and who is regulating it…and more importantly, is this safe? Facebook now helps moms in need of breast milk? Who knew a movie up for an Academy Award had such power!
Apparently the group on Facebook was called “Eats on Feets” and was set up by an Arizona mom who had an over supply of breast milk. This Fb page stirred the hearts and needs of many moms out there and to date, there are 116 Eats on Feets Facebook chapters in about 3 dozen countries.
Recently, the FDA posted a warning on the Eats on Feets website and warned that the milk that hasn’t been screen adequately may carry infectious diseases, be contaminated or pose safety risks to your baby. What is the response of the moms?
Some women in the group say they trust the “mother-to-mother” bond and don’t mind the risks. Would you feel comfortable letting another woman nurse your baby? Many women are! More and more women are also making informal arrangements where a nursing mother helps out a friend who is struggling to breastfeed by sharing her milk. Who knew!
Although “cross-nursing” is not always and “acceptable” or mainstream way to feed a baby, according to USA Today, “With a growing number of doctors saying breast milk is the best food for babies, especially hospitalized preemies struggling to gain weight, the demand for milk donations is increasing. The amount of donated milk distributed by the 10 banks of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America is growing rapidly but is still far below what’s needed, says Pauline Sakamoto, president of the association.”
In 2008, there were 1.4 million ounces donated to milk banks across the country, but experts say demand reaches as high as nearly 9 million ounces. If you are interested in helping a struggling mother, go to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. If you are interested in being a donor mother – here are a few of the main requirements:
- Be in good health
- Willing to undergo a blood test (at the milk bank’s expense)
- Not regularly using medication or herbal supplements (with exception of progestin-only birth control pills or injections, Synthroid, insulin, prenatal vitamins; for other exceptions, please contact a milk bank for more information)
- Willing to donate at least 100 ounces of milk; some banks have a higher minimum