To find using unregulated breast milk reckless? **title edited by MNHQ at OP's request**

(61 Posts)
celeryeater Mon 26-Sep-16 14:18:09

I think I might get a bit of stick for this but I find the whole process of sharing breast milk for babies a bit gross!
I don't know everything about 'safe' sharing from a proper milk bank but it's my understanding they screen the mothers for diseases and pasteurise the milk? That seems fair enough, and safe. Under what circumstances do you qualify for receiving that?
What I find bizarre is people who organise and receive donor milk for their babies over social media and just trust these strangers that they don't have any diseases or a drinking or drug problem. You wouldn't accept blood from an untested donor so what makes this any different?
I've been lucky enough to be able to breastfeed my DD but AIBU to ask in this situation what is so wrong with formula?

Soubriquet Mon 26-Sep-16 14:21:40

I think selling anything human through the Internet is unsafe

Be it sperm, milk, or anything else

Least through a regulated company they can do the required checks

rhiaaaaaaaannon Mon 26-Sep-16 14:23:34

I agree.

I don't think there's anything wrong with hospitals using it as they do all the necessary checks but when people do it over social media it makes me shudder.
They could have anything in their blood, or if they were really evil could spike it. Too many risks for me.

WhatWouldCoachBombayDo Mon 26-Sep-16 14:27:01

Private sales of breast milk I also find unsafe, unhygenic and dangerous!

I'd rather give formula than entrust the health and wellbeing of my child to a total internet stranger.

KondosSecretJunkRoom Mon 26-Sep-16 14:31:17

I think sharing unscreened milk is dangerous. It's madness but not 'yuck'.

As for milk that is screened, well that's a brilliant resource.

In fact, when people talk about the benefits of colostrum, I wonder why we can't screen it and share it around? If the colostrum that I produced for my children carried immunity to some of the illnesses that I've had - surely it makes sense to double up with another women's immune history - like a kind of breastmilk immunity soup.

I am aware though, that I may have been a hippy in a past life.

LurkingHusband Mon 26-Sep-16 14:33:01

Weren't wet nurses very common once ?

NataliaOsipova Mon 26-Sep-16 14:33:04

I don't understand it either. Happy to be corrected as I'm by no means an expert on this, but I thought the benefits of breast milk came from the fact that your body produced it for your baby, so it is beneficial for the baby's immune system etc. Even if it is safe (which obviously can't be guaranteed), is it really better to have a stranger's breast milk than formula? I know there were wet nurses in the past, but that was before formula was invented or widely and safely available. As I say, genuinely don't know the answer to this, so interested.

Jellybean83 Mon 26-Sep-16 14:33:48

DS had donor breastmilk when he was a newborn, he was very ill when he was born and it was done through the hospital. Apart from feeling like a failure I didn't find it gross because all the necessary screening was done. I'd never order the stuff from some random over social media though, I really can't understand why anyone would take that risk.

KayTee87 Mon 26-Sep-16 14:33:48

Using in hospital for a prem baby is a great service and one of my friends donated hers. Buying privately is stupid and could be dangerous for your baby.

00100001 Mon 26-Sep-16 14:34:20

wait, sharing human milk is gross, but sharing cows milk isn't? confused

TheSparrowhawk Mon 26-Sep-16 14:35:29

Yes breastmilk is better than formula, no matter what mother it comes from. I agree about it needing to be screened though.

celeryeater Mon 26-Sep-16 14:36:51

Haha I was waiting for a cows milk comment! I believe what I said was pasteurised milk is fine, unpasteurised untested milk isn't! And no I wouldn't drink unpasteurised cows milk either (having worked as a food microbiologist I would also find that yuck).

NataliaOsipova Mon 26-Sep-16 14:36:55

wait, sharing human milk is gross, but sharing cows milk isn't?

You're not allowed to sell it "fresh from the cow", though. So when you buy it from the shop it has been pasteurised. I think that's the point - you know what you're getting and that it is highly likely to be sake to drink.

Danglyweed Mon 26-Sep-16 14:37:38

My dt's were born at 30 weeks. I pumped for the first few days then unfortunately wasn't producing enough so we had to go with donor milk. I'm not gonna lie, it did kinda give me the boak but it was the best thing for them at that time.

NataliaOsipova Mon 26-Sep-16 14:37:55

X post!

dylsmimi Mon 26-Sep-16 14:39:33

Donor milk in a hospit has been screened - you need blod tests before you start donating and they are very strict about storage and handling - pick it up in big cool boxes etc
That is better than formula for tiny or sick babies as it is more easily digested etc
jelly please don't feel like a failure that is exactly why donor milk is there
I wouldn't be involved in buying or selling over the Internet its too risky - you can't trust some people with fake handbags never mind milk for small babies!!

Heathen4Hire Mon 26-Sep-16 14:40:34

My DD was born 8 weeks early. She was also very small. Despite my best efforts I couldn't breastfeed, (I believe because of the shock of the early birth) and I will be forever grateful to the women who donated breast milk to help my baby grow.

HyacinthFuckit Mon 26-Sep-16 14:46:00

Yabu in that your title and the content of your post don't really match.

If what you mean is you think buying bodily fluids from strangers off the internet with no quality controls is a risky idea, obviously yanbu. People often say a breastfeeding woman wouldn't deliberately put her baby at harm so it's fine. And it's true that most women will be tested for HIV and hepatitis early in pregnancy and won't normally choose to breastfeed if they're eg HIV positive with a high viral load and have access to clean water for formula. It's happened, but I'd think the odds are so close to zero that it's not really worth considering. However, I'm not willing to trust any and all the partners a breastfeeding woman might have had since she was last tested. It's no good if she's had a clean HIV test a year or two ago, but her husband's been barebacking whoever he can get his hands on and she doesn't know about it! And as a pp points out, people are unscrupulous. You'd never know what you were getting.

I don't see that any of this would apply to screened milk though.

Butterpuff Mon 26-Sep-16 14:51:57

As a few people on here seem to be clued up. How do you go about donating, is it a choice from the beginning?

I'm hoping to bf my baby but I know that he or she will spend some time in nicu as they will need an operation shortly after birth. I'll try to express from day 1 and hope that my baby will be able to feed from me and that supply. But if baby never gets the hang of bf would I be able to donate any expressed and stored milk?

juneau Mon 26-Sep-16 14:52:54

I agree - BM is a bodily fluid. If I couldn't produce my own I'd use formula. Plus, BM is made by the mother's body specially for her own DC. There is a two-way transfer of information from mother-to-baby and baby-to-mother when the baby suckles the breast. I can't see how BM from a stranger would do the same job at all.

StealthPolarBear Mon 26-Sep-16 14:55:53

Your title is wrong then. And don or bm is hugely valuable.

StealthPolarBear Mon 26-Sep-16 14:56:42

June how does formula do that? I'm impressed!

Andromache77 Mon 26-Sep-16 14:56:56

Donor milk is used as medicine/food for premature and extremely poorly newborns and it can literally mean the difference between life and death, or save them from a horrific disease called necrotizing enterocolitis, which essentially means intestinal necrosis.

Wet nurses were well known to the family and often lived with them so their general health state was not a mystery at all. Buying off the internet, on the other hand, is irresponsible and stupid, there's no way around it.

dylsmimi Mon 26-Sep-16 14:59:46

butter it will depend where you live as not all areas have a milk bank. Your midwife may know if there is one local to you
You need to donate before the baby is 6 months (or 4 in some cases) but can continue to donate
I would say definitely establish your own breastfeeding first and build up stock for your own baby and don't put pressure on yourself. I couldn't donate loads and loads as I can never express huge amounts and had 2 dc but the milk bank was always grateful for even a smaller amount
This may help www.ukamb.org

rhiaaaaaaaannon Mon 26-Sep-16 15:02:03

Find your nearest milk bank here

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