Doctors warn against buying breast milk on Facebook


ROCHESTER, NY – (WROC) – More moms are following the recommendation by obstetricians and pediatricians to give their infants breast milk. Right now eight out of ten moms choose to breastfeed.

“There are antibodies, vitamins, minerals, and everything that comes from a natural source for the babies to help protect them and help them grow,” said Dr. Karol Hyjek a pediatrician at Rochester General Hospital.

But some mothers do not have enough milk. So they are turning to groups of nursing moms who are selling their breast milk on Facebook. The though of buying breast milk online can be scary.

“I feel like there is so many dangers in buying somebody else’s breast milk that is specifically designed for their infant,” said Adriana Aleman-Crane.

Aleman-Crane is the mother of five. She chose to breastfeed all of her children including her newborn Jonathan. She understands why moms want to give their babies breast milk even if it is not their own. But medical experts agree there are dangers in buying it online.

“It is impossible to know whether the breast milk has been collected properly, processed, and stored,” said Hyjek. “You are opening the possibility of your baby being exposed to certain food borne illnesses and even worse things like hepatitis B and C, HIV, and syphilis. So it is really impossible to know what is in that breast milk.”

There is a growing demand for breast milk. Some nursing moms are taking advantage by selling it for 16 dollars an ounce.

“They are actually adding additional cow’s milk to breast milk to increase their volume,” said Hyjek. “That can be dangerous to an infant particularly under the age of 12 months who cannot digest cow’s milk.”

For moms who need to supplement their supply and do not want to use formula there is a safer choice.

“Their physicians can write a prescription,” said Julie O’Hehir, a lactation nurse. They can obtain milk from a milk bank that would be affiliated with their hospital and then obtain it that way.”

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