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Study: Buying Breast Milk Online May Be Dangerous

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A new study says buying breast milk online could be hazardous. It says mothers could be exposing their kids to harmful bacteria or even sexually transmitted diseases.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A new study says buying breast milk online could be hazardous. It says mothers could be exposing their kids to harmful bacteria or even sexually transmitted diseases.

Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital found more than three-fourths of breast milk samples purchased over the internet contained bacteria that can cause illness, and frequently exhibited signs of poor collection, storage or shipping practices.

The study showed that people who used pre-screened human milk banks like at the Greater Ozarks Regional Mother's Milk Depot had a much lower risk of any bacterial contamination.

Mothers who donate to the milk depot have to apply and are prescreened.

The milk at the depot is then sent on dry ice to the heart of America mother's milk bank where is it screened and pasteurized.

Cheryl Blevins with the Greater Ozarks Regional Breastfeeding Coalition says this must be done for the safety of the baby.

Blevins adds mothers who donate to banks are also given better collection techniques.

"In the study, we also noticed mothers who are working with a milk bank,” says Blevins. “Because of that training their milk pre-processing had 30 percent less bacteria."

After a mother completes the necessary health screening and is approved to donate milk, she can bring it to the milk depot located at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department's WIC program office.

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