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Buying, Selling and Sharing Breast Milk

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

CNN.com ran an article today called "Not your mother's breast milk." It started off pretty interesting, making mention of a woman that nursed her sister's six month old and thought nothing of it. It went on to talk about the new movement toward using the Internet to buy, sell and trade breast milk with perfect strangers.

Apparently CNN ran a segment tonight on Paula Zahn that talks about a new black market for breast milk and the online article was a companion piece. Not having CNN, I'm not able to watch the segment, but hopefully a Lactivist reader will fill us in on what it says, or a transcript will show up on the CNN web site.

The issue has me somewhat torn. As a milk banking advocate, I obviously would prefer that women that wish to share their milk would do so via one of the HMBNA milk banks so that things can be properly screened and the babies that most need that donated milk can get it. On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with "wet nursing" when it comes to sharing with friends or family...but the whole random people on the Internet thing...I dunno, it kinda creeps me out.

Just this past weekend a friend was visiting from out of town...they arrived late and weren't sure they'd have enough formula. The grocery stores in town aren't open 24/7 up there, so it might have been an issue if they ran out. I told them that I still had some breast milk in the freezer and that they were welcome to use it if they were comfortable with the idea. I'd have no issue sharing my milk with someone that I knew. I've been tested via the milk bank, so I know it's safe.

But with a stranger? I suppose I'd still happily share mine with a stranger, it's what I did via the milk bank, but to RECEIVE it from a stranger? No way. Absolutely no way. Not unless it's coming through a milk bank and is fully processed and tested.

Now I strongly believe in the power of breast milk. It's clearly the absolute best food for babies...there's no doubt about it. But...formula also exists for a reason. I'm thinking that the types of moms that so desperately want to give their children breastmilk that they'd take it from a stranger have likely done their darndest to nurse. It's likely that small percentage of women that honestly cannot produce milk for their babies and they so desperately want their children to have breast milk that they'll take it wherever they can get it.

Breast milk banking in the United States is still rare enough that it can't simply be doled out to any mother that wants it. You need to have a prescription and you need to have a need beyond "my otherwise healthy baby isn't getting breast milk." It seems to me that while there are likely some wonderful, healthy women out there willing to share their milk, there are also some real low life creeps willing to pass off whatever as breast milk in order to make some money.

I can't imagine being so frightened of formula that I would risk my child's life with milk from a stranger...it's just not worth it.

So what do we do about this? Is this partly our fault for so pushing breast milk that we make some moms think that they have to do anything and everything to provide it? Are we encouraging moms to take dangerous chances for the sake of breast milk? Is it wrong to sell your breast milk to a stranger? To donate it (on your own) to a stranger?

Would you share? Would you sell? Would you buy? What if you couldn't nurse your child...sure, I can see going to a relative or a friend, but would you go to a stranger?

Labels: ,

  1. Anonymous Jax | 6:43 AM |  

    Well, I would consider donating to a milk bank. As soon as money comes into the equation it all gets much more complicated though.

    Personally, and this is probably a sad reflection of our society, it would take a pretty extreme circumstance before I'd consider nursing another baby. I have a friend whose daughter is just a couple of months older than my son, and we used to go to a breastfeeding support group together. However if either baby starting doing hungry things in the wrong mother's arms, they got handed back very quickly!

    And finally, while I'm here, thought I'd let you know that this breastfeeding thing is creeping into the mainstream media. There's a program due to be shown next weds at 9 on channel 4 in the UK entitled Extended Breastfeeding. Apparently there's at least one home educator on it as well ;)

  2. Blogger Ally | 6:44 AM |  

    I'd personally wet nurse a relative's or close friend's baby if the situation warrented it. I'd share expressed bm with a friend or relative as well. But buying and selling over the internet? No. If I was UTBF, I'd buy formula.

  3. Blogger Tricia | 7:43 AM |  

    I agree the idea of accepting breastmilk from a stanger is scary. But I know the depseration. I breastfeed and pump to provide for my son while he's at daycare. I would do ALMOSY anything to avoid formula. I'm not a tin-foil hat wearing maniac, but I've definitely been influenced by the "breast is best" propaganda. Yes, I believe breast is best, but I DO feel pressured to never offer formula, and that's just not practical for me. No amount of pumping and herbal supplements is giving me enough milk to meet my son's needs when we're apart, and I feel like a gigantic failure. It sucks. Perhaps we ought to do a better job of encouraging breastfeeding without terrifying us of formula.

  4. Blogger Natural Mom | 10:34 AM |  

    I would not buy breastmilk from a stranger, although I have instructed dh that in the event of my untimely death or in the case of a terrible accident (hospitalization, etc) that he is to get my young nursling into the arms of a nursing Mom from our church or a friend...and I would absolutely nurse another baby if I was asked.

    True story...when I was 5 days old my Mom had to go back to the hospital for chest pains (turns out it was euphoria, not a blood clot!) and she stayed overnight. She was so adamant that I not receive formula. She called up LLL and got a couple of Moms who had extra BM to donate some. I refused the bottles. I did nurse once or twice from a friend of my Mom's who had a baby a few months older.
    But bottle? I wouldn't have it ;)
    I sucked on my Dad's pinky finger all night long until Mommy came home.
    A week old Lactivist I was, even then ;)

  5. Blogger Jennifer | 10:36 AM |  

    Jax, let me know if you see it and blog on it so I can link over to ya!

    Tricia,

    Please don't feel badly about having to use formula if you've tried your other options. Formula is not white death...almost all babies will do just fine on it. In fact, almost anyone my age grew up on formula and we're none the worse for wear. (though the lazy part of me wants to blame lack of breastmilk for my now being overweight lol...)

    The breast is best...if you can pull it off, it's fantastic. But there comes a point in time where the sanity of a mom has to come into play as well. Breastfeeding alone does not make you a great mom, it's loving your child enough to make sacrifices to give them what they need. From the sounds of it, you're doing that. :)

  6. Blogger Jennifer | 10:38 AM |  

    natural mom...cute!

    You gave me an idea for a new shirt...soon as I get Photoshop on the new laptop, I'll get it online. :)

  7. Blogger TulipGirl | 3:47 PM |  

    When I was living overseas, one of the daydreams I used to have was to be able to regularly volunteer at an infant hospital and help by cuddling and breastfeeding the babies who needed it. Now, it never happened, and I don't think "they" would have allowed it. But several grandmotherly types from a local church did go and rock and play with the babies regularly at a local hospital that was doubling as an infant orphanage. (The orphanage was full and these babies were just left at the hospital after birth. . .)

    And while I do have pro-breastfeeding friends who would *never* have their child have even their sister's breastmilk (too many unknowns, diseases, Hep) I would be comfortable having my babies be wetnursed or have bm from a bottle from my sister or close friend. And I have wetnursed another's baby (though it was obvious he could tell I wasn't mama. . .)

  8. Blogger MothersMoon | 2:37 PM |  

    I would certainly donate my milk to a bank, I have "wet nursed" in the past and still would today...free of charge. I'm one of those freaks of nature lactavists who still breastfeeds her four year old, along with expressing milk to add to his oatmeal and other foods. I also have concocted a breastmilk salve which heals all bumps bruises and rashes in our house, and of course make breastmilk soap. Breastmilk is wondrous.

  9. Blogger Jennifer | 3:06 PM |  

    Breastmilk soap? Now I'm intrigued...do tell, do tell! :)

  10. Blogger MothersMoon | 8:02 AM |  

    The first batch of soap I ever made was in honor of my son's first birthday, as I wanted to give my friends who came to his celebration something special they could take home with them.
    The soap was made from my own breastmilk, during that "Mothers Moon" that May, and wrapped on the full “Blessing” Moon of July...which happened to fall upon my son’s birthday that year. I called it Mothers Moon Milk-Soap,and actually built a cottage business from there.

    Here's a recipe for 32 (4-ounce) bars:


    Ingredients:

    3 lbs. vegetable shortening

    17 ounces dark olive oil

    18 ounces Safflower oil

    6 cups thawed breastmilk (you can use any amount of breastmilk you like and

    substitute the rest, just make sure your total fluid volume reaches 6 cups).

    12 ounces pure sodium hydroxide (lye)

    1 ounce Borax

    2 TBS honey

    (optional: 1 ounce Essential oil and/or dry medicinal herbs)

    Ice Cubes


    Tool List:

    Stainless steel pans - wooden or stainless steel spoons, newspaper to cover

    counter tops, candy thermometer, measuring cup, scale, blender.


    Cautions:

    ***Wear Gloves and protective eye-wear when making soap...lye burns!!

    ****Use only stainless steel pans for making soap - DO NOT use aluminum!!


    Directions:

    Melt the vegetable shortening in a sauce pan (about 8 quart size)and add

    the oils. Bring temp up slowly until the shortening is all melted. Don't

    over heat or scorch the oils.

    Plug your kitchen sink. Fill half way with water and add about 3 dozen ice

    cubes.

    Put thawed cold breastmilk in a sauce pan (about 3 quart size). Place the

    sauce pan into the water. You *must* keep the milk cool when you add the

    lye to it or the lye will burn it and make it unusable (and unpleasant smelling!)

    Slowly stir in the sodium hydroxide (lye) stirring constantly and

    occasionally circulating the outer ice water. The lye is going to heat the

    milk up as you stir it in. Avoid breathing the fumes by working in a well

    ventilated area.

    Adding the lye should take at least 5 minutes, any faster and you will

    burnout your milk. If you accidentally splash any on yourself, rinse

    immediately!

    Once combined, continue to stir the milk/lye mixture for just a few more

    minutes (three maybe) and then remove from the water bath and set aside. You will

    notice that the milk/lye mixture steadily becomes yellowish in color. That

    is normal.

    Add the honey and borax to your melted oil which should still be warm but

    not hot (115 degrees or so).

    Now, slowly and carefully pour the milk/lye mixture into the pan of oil.

    Stir constantly until it is all mixed together.

    This mixture must now be whipped in a blender (2/3's full at a time for

    safety sake). Run the blender at whip speed for 60 seconds each time. Pour

    off into a clean pan.

    Repeat the blender process a second time. This is when you would add your

    essential oils, or dry herbs.

    Once the mixture has been blended twice, it will be ready to pour into a

    mold where it will saponify. (A good mold can be made out of a cardboard box lined with plastic coated lightly with oil first, or I use freezer paper in a wooden box…of about 16"x18" size.)

    I usually let my soaps rest eight weeks before cutting, and then let rest another 24 hours before wrapping (if I do wrap) Some folks cut their soaps sooner if they are to be used immediately.

  11. Blogger MothersMoon | 8:02 AM |  

    The first batch of soap I ever made was in honor of my son's first birthday, as I wanted to give my friends who came to his celebration something special they could take home with them.
    The soap was made from my own breastmilk, during that "Mothers Moon" that May, and wrapped on the full “Blessing” Moon of July...which happened to fall upon my son’s birthday that year. I called it Mothers Moon Milk-Soap,and actually built a cottage business from there.

    Here's a recipe for 32 (4-ounce) bars:


    Ingredients:

    3 lbs. vegetable shortening

    17 ounces dark olive oil

    18 ounces Safflower oil

    6 cups thawed breastmilk (you can use any amount of breastmilk you like and

    substitute the rest, just make sure your total fluid volume reaches 6 cups).

    12 ounces pure sodium hydroxide (lye)

    1 ounce Borax

    2 TBS honey

    (optional: 1 ounce Essential oil and/or dry medicinal herbs)

    Ice Cubes


    Tool List:

    Stainless steel pans - wooden or stainless steel spoons, newspaper to cover

    counter tops, candy thermometer, measuring cup, scale, blender.


    Cautions:

    ***Wear Gloves and protective eye-wear when making soap...lye burns!!

    ****Use only stainless steel pans for making soap - DO NOT use aluminum!!


    Directions:

    Melt the vegetable shortening in a sauce pan (about 8 quart size)and add

    the oils. Bring temp up slowly until the shortening is all melted. Don't

    over heat or scorch the oils.

    Plug your kitchen sink. Fill half way with water and add about 3 dozen ice

    cubes.

    Put thawed cold breastmilk in a sauce pan (about 3 quart size). Place the

    sauce pan into the water. You *must* keep the milk cool when you add the

    lye to it or the lye will burn it and make it unusable (and unpleasant smelling!)

    Slowly stir in the sodium hydroxide (lye) stirring constantly and

    occasionally circulating the outer ice water. The lye is going to heat the

    milk up as you stir it in. Avoid breathing the fumes by working in a well

    ventilated area.

    Adding the lye should take at least 5 minutes, any faster and you will

    burnout your milk. If you accidentally splash any on yourself, rinse

    immediately!

    Once combined, continue to stir the milk/lye mixture for just a few more

    minutes (three maybe) and then remove from the water bath and set aside. You will

    notice that the milk/lye mixture steadily becomes yellowish in color. That

    is normal.

    Add the honey and borax to your melted oil which should still be warm but

    not hot (115 degrees or so).

    Now, slowly and carefully pour the milk/lye mixture into the pan of oil.

    Stir constantly until it is all mixed together.

    This mixture must now be whipped in a blender (2/3's full at a time for

    safety sake). Run the blender at whip speed for 60 seconds each time. Pour

    off into a clean pan.

    Repeat the blender process a second time. This is when you would add your

    essential oils, or dry herbs.

    Once the mixture has been blended twice, it will be ready to pour into a

    mold where it will saponify. (A good mold can be made out of a cardboard box lined with plastic coated lightly with oil first, or I use freezer paper in a wooden box…of about 16"x18" size.)

    I usually let my soaps rest eight weeks before cutting, and then let rest another 24 hours before wrapping (if I do wrap) Some folks cut their soaps sooner if they are to be used immediately.

  12. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:31 PM |  

    I would buy breastfed milk in a heartbeat! As long as the milk was "clean"-- I wouldn't care who gave it to me. I know that breastfeeding is best. I have not been able to become a "breastfeeding mom" due to an emergency Cesarean followed by a child born with a bad case of jaundice (where I had to supplement) followed by a bad case of thrush. I feel like such a failure because my milk supply remained so low that I was forced to supplement and now my near 1 month old child is eating nothing but Enfamil. She is frequently irritable now due to constant gas and constipation. I've tried a breastfeeding support group but what is supportive about being surrounded by women who are able to breastfeed and boast about their abundance in milk. I've also tried Reglan, pumping frequently, drinking plenty of water, whatever. I wish there was something on the market that could guarantee an increase your milk supply without making you feel like a zombie. I wish the breastfeeding classes I took before my child was born informed me that some women, like me have to do all these things to try and get their milk to "come in". My milk never "came in". I always thought 2-3 days after you had your baby your abundance of milk "came in" automatically. I was wrong!

  13. Blogger Lost Mom | 4:39 PM |  

    I would buy breastfed milk in a heartbeat! As long as the milk was "clean"-- I wouldn't care who gave it to me. I know that breastfeeding is best. I have not been able to nurse my child due to an emergency Cesarean followed by a child born with a bad case of jaundice followed by a bad case of thrush. I feel like such a failure because my milk supply has remained so low that I have been forced to supplement and now my near 1 month old child is eating nothing but Enfamil. Now she is often irritated by her constant gas and constipation. I've tried a breastfeeding support group but what is supportive about being surrounded by women who are able to breastfeed and boast about their abundance in milk. I've also tried Reglan, pumping frequently, drinking plenty of water, whatever. I wish there was something on the market that could guarantee an increase your milk supply without making you feel like a zombie. I wish the breastfeeding classes I took before my child was born informed me that some women, like me have to do all these things to try and get their milk to "come in". My milk never "came in". I always thought 2-3 days after you had your baby your abundance of milk "came in".

  14. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:16 PM |  

    amy said...

    When my second son was born by c-section, I had a major hemorrage. I was in intensive care for some time and my milk did not come in for two weeks. However, I had a wonderful nurse that got me a nurser aid from a breast feeding group in town. It is a small container that you clip to your clothes and has a tiny rubber hose that goes down to your breast and you tape it to your nipple. The container if filled with formula. So when your baby attaches and sucks, it is getting food and stimulating you breast to produce milk. This also helps keep your baby from getting lazy in terms of sucking. Sucking a bottle takes less work. My milk came in after using this method for a week and is now 20 months old and still nurses at sleepy time. I hope you mothers that feel like you have failed because your milk never came in will realize that we are blessed to be able to go buy food for our babies unlike women in 3rd world countries. Don't give up trying though. I can't have anymore babies because of my complications from my last birth but I am planning to adopt soon and Breast feed using this same method to produce milk! God Bless.

  15. Blogger MarysHerbs | 1:03 PM |  

    There are some undesirable people out there, but there are many good Moms whose milk is safe. The problem I have with milk banks is they pasturize the milk. This causes the enzymes to be bound and changes the value of the milk.

  16. Blogger MarysHerbs | 1:04 PM |  

    There are some undesirable people out there, but there are many good Moms whose milk is safe. The problem I have with milk banks is they pasturize the milk. This causes the enzymes to be bound and changes the value of the milk.

  17. Blogger Jennifer | 1:12 PM |  

    It's not just a matter of a good mom or an undesireable mom...when you're talking about babies in the NICU that are micro preemies and that can't survive the slightest infection, you simply cannot take any chances.

    Even a "good mom" could accidentally pass a virus or germ into the milk that she's collecting in a sterile container.

    The very minor drop in health benefits from pasteurization are enormously outweighed by the increased safety of pasteurizing to protect from accidental contamination.

  18. Blogger Sarah | 4:42 PM |  

    It's funny how different ideas can be on this. I feel like breastmilk is a little bit sacred (and a lot personal), which doesn't mean that I wouldn't give to a friend in need, but it does mean that I'm very particular about it. I would be very uncomfortable with my son nursing from someone else in anything but an emergency situation, and so when other friends of mine have no problem with their kids drinking bottles of my expressed milk or offering me their babies to nurse (I had a bad plugged duct and my friend thought that if her son nursed from me, because his latch was different, it might help. I was on a lot of antibiotics at that point, and politely declined), I'm always a bit taken aback. If there were some reason that mom couldn't nurse, I'd be happy to help out, but when my friend asked me today if she could buy some breastmilk from me (she's got a couple of days coming up next month where she'll be gone for the whole day, and finds pumping to be really slow and arduous), I wasn't quite sure how to respond. I'm happy to give her some of my extra milk - I have an abundant supply and it's easy for me to pump - but I definitely am not comfortable profitting of my milk, and since I would never (unless there was an emergency) give my baby her milk, I feel a little odd giving her baby mine.

  19. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:44 PM |  

    I would definitely sell my breastmilk. I produced so much, I would leak and pour all over the place. My daughter could not keep up with my supply and it just never seemed to decrease. I stopped breastfeeding over a year ago and occassionally my breasts still leak. I surely would have liked to help some other mother out and have made a little money doing it. Everyone I met had so much trouble getting their supply up and I was always trying to reduce mine.

  20. Blogger Got Milk, Baby | 12:42 PM |  

    I would be willing to provide to a woman who is not able to produce enough milk. I am full at night since my baby goes to bed at 8:30pm and I'm up until about 1am. My baby sleeps most of the night so my breast are full. I often pump at least once a night.

  21. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:34 AM |  

    Buying/selling can be dangerous because you're then enticing people to begin pumping for profit.

    Once money becomes a motivation, some people will do anything - even knowingly selling tainted milk.

    But there are women out there doing private donation... mother to mother.

    www.milkshare.com
    My baby is mostly fed through Milkshare. We pasteurize everything we get and only get it from mothers with recent HIV/Hepatitis testing.

  22. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:17 PM |  

    Your comments really hit home for me because I've been so frustrated by the "breastmilk only" messages out there. I deeply wanted to only breastfeed my son, but due to a thyroid condition, I think, I've never been able to produce enough milk. I feel disappointed, and have had to make peace with supplementing with formula. I was so brainwashed by the breastfeeding advocates that I felt like formula was like junk food for my precious son, so I felt like such a failure. I've since decided that any breastmilk is better than none, so we keep at it. Every time I read about someone's scare tactic comments about formula, I feel angry because I feel it is hurtful to those who must use it, and must trust its nutritional safety. It's not the end of the world to use formula, and although I agree that "breast is best," the hardcore nursing advocates should seriously back off a bit and realize how much stress they're putting on everyone by insisting that the only way to not harm your baby, or to be a good mother, or whatever, is to breastfeed. It's possible to go too far.

  23. Blogger JenO | 5:36 PM |  

    I'm in an odd situation where my baby came early and was in the NICU. I pumped successfully and she has had nothing but breastmilk (altho supplemented with formula powder when she was underweight and so weak...that wasn't even from a bottle but a feeding tube to her stomach). Now she's a healthy 2 month old, but she doesn't like to nurse! She much prefers the bottle. (I guess for the same reason breastfed babies often won't take bottles...)

    I still pump and bottle feed her breast milk. However, my breasts seem to think I have twins, and I have WAY too much milk. I also want to be a stay at home mom, and so any extra source of income is very attractive to me. I would totally sell my milk (a google search on the subject is how I found this page) to a stranger. If I can figure out what stranger is going to give me money for it anyway.

    That said, I don't think I would be on the buying end. Sure, _I_ know I'm healthy, and would never dream of giving anyone's baby unsafe milk, I know there are certainly others out there that would. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I sent milk home with someone that had been sitting out questionably long, etc. (not that I sleep at night with a newborn anyway... ;) But it would have to be someone I trust completely before I accepted milk from them. At least I know where the formula came from...

  24. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:18 PM |  

    Sure I would donate the milk for a child in need. Selling does sound pretty appealing though with the wooping price and I know I would never dilute the milk to increase profits. Hard to put myself in the position of buying when I have a freezer with gallons of stored milk that I am pretty sure my baby will never go through (again - same happened with first baby an I still remember throwing aways gallons of perfectly good and healthy milk. I am seriously considering selling this time!

  25. Blogger The Corner | 1:15 PM |  

    I am breastfeeding my daughter and just got laid off so I was considering selling the surplus of my breast milk for extra cash. There is a very negative feeling about the whole subject and have since crapped the idea. I guess we live in the United States with very little community sense. Were this back in my village, the whole concept would not be an issue at all.

  26. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:46 PM |  

    BRESTFEEDING IS GREAT. MY SON IS 1 I'M STILL BRESRFEEDING HIM.

  27. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:42 PM |  

    had i knew more about breastfeeding i would not have suplement with formula i would only breastfed my son 100% when i was at the hospital the lactate consultan were there over my shoulder wich help me a lot the moment i got home i got lazy and tired and started on furmula and nursing three times a day,if i had found a healthy nursing mother i wouldn't mind her nursing my child as she was very healthy.

  28. Blogger Amy | 9:45 AM |  

    This article is asking the WRONG questions, because it is thinking inside the box: INSIDE our current paradigm. Instead of asking "why are women so scared of formula?", we should be asking "Why isn't it easier to sell our milk to others and why isn't there a way for laypeoople to test unpasturized human milk they buy?" There should be nothing considered "gross" or "wrong" about a woman working hard to stay healthy, going through the trouble of pumping her breasts, to be paid for this life-giving food. Milk banks have a monopoly over woman's bodies this way. It should be easier and more acceptable for women to sell their milk, and for other families to buy and test it themselves. This way you don't have to blindly say "EW I would never buy it from a low-life stranger" because you could test it yourself. Think about this: WHY are men allowed to easily and safely sell their sperm, yet women are discriminated against, with society saying "EW, YUCK" to them selling their milk. If there is a supply and demand, there should be no reason it is "wrong" or "bad." We need to look at our own culture, and they systems set up to make these things difficult for women. That is the only thing "wrong" or "bad" in this scenario.

  29. Blogger Lynnn | 4:23 PM |  

    I am a mom like most whoes baby doesnt drink enough from my supply. So like most mommy's out their our freezers are consumed with milk. I am disease free and a healthy mom. I say these BLOOD BANKS I mean Milk Banks corner the market and charge outragious prices to hospitals and individuals that cant afford to pay such inflated prices.

    Rather than throw away good milk why should the goverment step in and say its illegal to sell our milk. We are stay at home moms that could use the extra income and as lomg as we have proof we are disease free and in good health then i say WHY NOT!.

    Somewhere in our evolution someone put in our heads that milk from an animal (COW) is ok to sell and that human milk which is far more healthier for us is illegal. What is our world coming to?

  30. Blogger Luanne | 9:17 AM |  

    Wait a minute........ think about something. Why would you NOT be concerned about the safety of free milk but you WOULD BE if it were not free? How does monetary compensation make the milk risky or diseased? And even more obvious, consider that most of these gals are keeping their own children alive with the very same milk they are offering for sale. You want a safety check? Check out her own baby for living proof of it's purity.

    Speaking of milk quality.... consider also that milk banks pasteurize the milk before selling it. If it's like anything else in nature, this heating up of the breast milk to just-in-case "sterilize" it also neuters it, killing off some of the most important features of this perfectly designed food. As far as I can see from my studies of nutrition, these private party gals are offering the true power house milk, offering it as it was created to be compared to the neutered milk the banks sell. Perhaps folks who buy from a milk bank as opposed to a direct-supplier (nursing woman) for safety & quality reasons should think again.

    If you want to give away your milk that's fantastic but if a woman wants to be compensated for hers, that is no less fantastic. Do any of you drink cow's milk or feed it to your family? Do you expect the dairy farmer to donate the fruits of his labor to Albertson's? That's fine if he wants to but it's perfectly legit & no less fine that he sells it. And, no, I don't say this because I sell my milk but I wouldn't have a problem with doing so & may do so in the future. I eat extremely well - organic, local and grass-fed so I know my milk is just about as high quality as I can make it. Why shouldn't I be compensated for that kind of quality and the effort of extracting & storing it?

    By the way, next time you "donate" blood & feel good because you "gave it away", don't accept that free pie certificate or $5 bill from the blood agency because then you will not have truly donated your blood but you will have been "compensated" for it. Do you see how ridiculous this argument can get? The bottom line is that we need to stop being so quick to judge others over what is merely our personal preferences....... or should I say, personal "hang-ups"?

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