Online breast milk? Definitely! Women who find it impossible to nurse their babies on their own breast milk were obliged by the internet as they could purchase abundant supply of breast milk online. The milk can be obtained from strangers in large quantities but there is a shock awaiting these mothers. The milk sold and bought online can be dangerously contaminated say the researchers.

Purchased breast milk for babies

The latest fad amongst the busy society women was to opt out for online breast milk. A new study had burst the “happy bubble” of the women who gave their nod for online milk. The breast milk may be available in plenty online but is mostly contaminated, sadly.

Researchers have discovered that almost 75% of the breast milk that is purchased online via the site OnlyTheBreast. com was contaminated and showed the presence of a whopping amount of disease causing bacteria.

The samples shocked the researchers as they found human waste germs in the breast milk also. These bacteria are capable of making the little babies very very sick!

The fecal contamination and the harmful bacteria in the milk maybe a result of poor milk collection, bad storage and shipping practices, say the experts.

The study details

This unique study was a result of 100 breast milk samples that had been picked up from a public milk-sharing site on the internet. They found out that out of four samples three were contaminated with disease causing bacteria, or had high level bacterial growth . The growth also showed presence of Salmonella and E.coli.

This may be due to unclean containers for milk storage, bad shipping conditions, or because of unsanitary parts of a breast milk pump. Almost 19% of the sellers did not use proper methods for keeping the milk cooled and did not have dry ice for storage purposes, during the shipping.

The lead author of the research study, epidemiologist Sarah Keim, discovered almost 13,000 postings in 2011 on a milk sharing website of US. Certain bacteria in the milk is totally normal as some of them are “very important and healthy for babies and the development of their immune system and digestive system,” and harmless when in control , stated Keim ,who is also a principal investigator with the Center for Biobehavioral Health at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The comparison was between the unpasteurized breast milk at a non-profit milk bank and online purchased breast milk.

Implications of the study

Human Milk Banking Association of North America has set some strict guidelines and about 12 banks in US follow the method of pasteurization for the milk from screened donors. This milk is mostly for the premature and delicate infants in hospitals. The milk from the internet had more disease carrying bacteria though all samples tested negative for HIV.

Sometimes it is imperative that ladies who are unable to lactate, do need breast milk for the babies and we can never be sure about the authenticity of the milk.

Eglash, co-medical director of the still-in-development Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes states “I don’t think the message should be that women should never share milk, but that this behavior of buying it on the Web from someone you don’t know should not happen. you don’t want unpasteurized milk that has various bacteria going to an infant whose immune system is vulnerable.” There are ways of pasteurizing the milk at home she felt.

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