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Breast Milk For Sale– Milk Banks, Wet Nurses and Casual Sharing

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The Washington Post has an excellent story today on the growing trend of alternative ways to feed your baby breast milk, even if you aren’t breastfeeding. The piece, “Banking on Milk: Options Are Growing for Women Who Can’t Breast-Feed,” covers all its bases– non-profit and for-profit milk banks, wet nursing and cross nursing.
Breast milk, touted by the government and even formula-makers as the best food for babies, is becoming a hot commodity. Ten nonprofit milk banks that match donors to those searching for milk are accredited members of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). For-profit milk banks and wet nurses for hire are also available. Countless other private transactions go on, many facilitated by the Internet, creating a sisterhood among strangers. Some moms “cross-nurse” with babies of friends and relatives.
But the milk-sharing movement, still largely an underground network, brings up many questions. First, there is worry about the safety of unscreened milk, which can pass diseases such as HIV and syphilis to babies. Others debate ethical concerns, such as whether people should make money selling human milk and how such businesses should be regulated.

Best of all, Jennifer of The Lactivist is quoted in the article!

2 Responses to “Breast Milk For Sale– Milk Banks, Wet Nurses and Casual Sharing”

No more goverment intervention! Why not be compensated for going thru the trouble, (I breast fed 2,for a total of 2.5 years), of extracting & storing their milk? It’s a valuable commodity. It’s truly rare that a Mom cannot produce her own milk. With help & perseverence it can be done successfully. Believe me, in ’76, in Louisiana,no one I knew breast fed! Thankfully a friend,I was visiting gave me a book on nursing while I was pregnant & visiting her, otherwise I would have used formula. Knowledge & persistence got me thru the challenging 1st month. Knowing the hugh difference between artifical & breast feeding made me determinded to succeed. Susan

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