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The Emergence of Nonprofit Breast Milk Banks is Saving Lives

Posted on May 01 2014

With countless studies highlighting the many benefits to be gained from breastfeeding there has also been an emergence of online milk banks and exchanges, which experts warn might not be the safest option. Organizations like the Human Milk Banking Association of North America and the American Academy of Pediatrics are urging new moms who are unable to produce their own breast milk to consider using a safer alternative and turn to a nonprofit breast milk bank instead of the internet.   Over the past 30 years, breast milk banks have started popping up in cities all across the country, providing infants in need with the miracle milk, as its being called, to save their lives. Whether the milk comes from the babies own mother or is donated by another lactating mom, breast milk if filled with many nutrients and immune-system antibodies that are essential to the health of newborns, especially for those that are born prematurely or underweight. Like Kim Updegrove, president of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America says, “It's now irrefutable that in absence of mom's own milk, donor milk increases survival rate and improves development of vulnerable infants.”   While the online sharing of breast milk seems to be a hot trend right now, experts warn that there are many risks and dangers to getting your breast milk supply from an online source. One recent study discovered that an alarming ¾ of the 101 breast milk samples purchased online for the study were found to contain harmful bacteria that could make babies sick. A majority of the online banks don’t have safety precautions in place to ensure that the milk is safe. When buying online you could be buying breast milk from someone who has hepatitis B, is HIV-positive, or has any number of countless germs and infectious diseases that could get passed on to your child. When you want the best for your child, don’t take the risk of buying from online banks. Nonprofit milk banks implement rigorous testing and screenings to ensure that the milk is completely safe before it is passed on to your child.   In addition to urging new moms to turn to breast milk banks instead of online sales, organizations like the Human Milk Banking Association of North America are also urging moms who have a surplus of breast milk to consider donating to a breast milk bank, who will then test the milk for safety, pasteurize it, and then make sure it gets to the most vulnerable infants first. Donated breast milk saves lives and provides other children with the opportunity for a better start in life.   Mountainside Medical Equipment carries a wide range of products that are designed to make the breastfeeding process easier and more enjoyable for lactating mothers. Browse through our selection of manual breast-pumps and automatic breast pumpsnursing padsbreast shellsbreast milk storage kits, and breastfeeding lotion for sore nipples and see what might work best for you.   Sources: https://www.hmbana.org/ http://www.mountainside-medical.com/by-symptom/pregnancy-and-breastfeeding.html http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_145942.html

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