I know this will be hard for many of you to hear, but you may want to think twice about buying your breast milk online. Businessweek has a handy guide to the study released Monday that found human milk purchased online was full of harmful bacteria like staphylococcus, streptococcus, and even salmonella.
Did I just ruin your plans for the weekend?
Bacteria aside, the most fascinating part was the pricing. Breast milk sells for an average of $1.50/ounce, which frankly sounds like nothing short of a bargain when it comes to selling fluid that comes out of your body. It doesn’t sound so cheap, though, when you consider that the average baby needs about 25 oz. a day. That’s $37.50 a day. You could practically go on a juice cleanse for that kind of money! Or you know, feed your baby.
The piece goes onto discuss the less risky practice of sharing milk within your community, where you know the mother who might be helping you out if you or your baby have health problems and would benefit from breast milk. Taking money out of the equation does seem to lower the squick factor. I mean, what do I know, aside from spending roughly 10,000 hours reading birth stories on mom blogs?
If you do decide to enter into the b-milk biz, consider this gem from Emma Kwansica, a breastfeeding advocate who founded a milk-sharing (!) site, and do not sell to anonymous donors:
“…and unfortunately it’s quite common that many of the people willing to purchase human milk anonymously are almost always men…The women selling their milk are smart, and they know that if someone requests a small, one-time quantity of milk it’s not going to a baby in need. They were probably like, ‘This is just going to some seedy dude.”"
YOU MEN! Always ruining it for everyone else.
Photo: Brett Lakanen