Is buying breast milk online safe?

No surprise here: going to a milk bank is much safer for your baby than buying breast milk online. Credit: Getty Images
No surprise here: going to a milk bank is much safer for your baby than buying breast milk online.
Credit: Getty Images

Virtually anything can be bought online, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. A new study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 75 percent of breast milk samples purchased online contain harmful bacteria.

Logging on to buy breast milk may sound absurd, but a previous study published in the journal found that it’s become a popular trend in recent years. In 2011, there were roughly 13,000 postings on U.S. milk-sharing websites advertising breast milk for sale.

The study was conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, who found that not only is most breast milk sold online contaminated with bacteria that can make infants sick, most samples are not collected, stored or shipped properly. Most of the bacteria the researchers collected resulted from bad hygiene; researchers even found signs of fecal contamination in some of the samples.

Instead of buying breast milk online, researchers advise buying directly from a milk bank, which is regulated and sanitary. When it comes to bodily fluids, the online marketplace just isn’t the way to go.

Follow Emily on Twitter: EmLaurence


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