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Thread: donated breastmilk, to use or not?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    West Salem, Ohio

    Default donated breastmilk, to use or not?

    My friend had her baby end of April. Her cousin had a baby a few weeks or so before her. The cousin is pumping more milk than she needs. She has given my friend her extra. Should she use this milk for her formula fed son if she wants to. Or what should she find out first... (my friend has many allergies on her side and the dad has allergies also, should she worry about those if she chooses to give him the breast milk?)

    Mother of 3 beautiful girls, and expecting baby number 4 in July

    Elisabeth ~ 9/25/07
    Eliana ~ 1/08/09
    Elivia ~ 1/22/12 ~ EBF

    with all 3 still

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: donated breastmilk, to use or not?

    Yes, use the breastmilk if she's willing to donate it! You just have to verify that she's not on any antibiotics/drugs and is disease-free. Have her do a little research online if she is uncomfortable with the idea, there are lots of resources out there.
    Here's a link to one of the sites, other resources are milkshare and human milk for human babies.


    I tried to donate my milk to our next door neighbor who's son is three weeks younger then mine but she never showed any interest even after I gave her the sites to look at, so I went through a facebook milkshare site and donated to a mom I didn't even know at the time.
    Trying to keep up with a busy 3.5 year old Morgan Alexis born 11/5/09 at 6 lbs 5 oz and proud retired 1 year EP'er!

    Nursing our new addition Jordan Catherine born 10/21/12 at 7 lbs 14 oz.

    Total donated milk so far - 1,368 ounces!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: donated breastmilk, to use or not?

    These are the LLL guidelines for discussing milk sharing arrangements: http://www.llli.org/release/milksharing.html

    Basically, milk sharing arrangements are as old as the human species, and plenty of moms and babies have benefitted from them. But there are some health risks associated with milk sharing, so before a mom accepts donor milk she needs to know the donor mom's health status, and/or to have a plan for sterilizing the milk. In particular, she should know that the donor mom is negative for HIV, active tuberculosis, brucellosis (rare, probably only a problem if the woman is a large animal vet, a rancher, or works in the meat packing industry!), and that the mom is not a drug user. Sterilizing using heat does destroy some of the beneficial qualities of human milk, but sterilized milk is still far superior to formula.

    Allergies are not a concern with a baby who is not known to be allergic. Honestly, using formula for a baby who has a tendency towards allergy- that's probably a far bigger risk than using donor milk, in terms of the baby's overall risk of developing allergies.

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