Buying breast milk online from strangers

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 5/16/2013 9:02 am Published: 5/15/2013 8:28 pm

Anna Davis chose to breast-feed her 6-month-old daughter, Brooklyn, because of the health benefits and to bond with her child.

"It's so special," said Davis, "Only I can give her that gift and nobody else can do that."

Breast-feeding isn't an option for every mother, and those who want real breast milk may be going online to purchase it from strangers.

FOX23 went online and found Oklahoma mothers selling their breast milk on Craigslist.

Some experts call this form of sharing a risky venture.

Dr. Martin Banschbach, professor of biochemistry and nutrition at OSU Center for Health Sciences, says that breast milk is nutritionally beneficial for infants, but purchasing bodily fluid from a stranger online is a risk.

"You are playing Russian roulette," said Banschbach.

Banschbach says that the buyer would have no way of knowing if the source was reputable online because there is no quality control. He tells FOX23 that infections, caffeine, drugs etc., can pass through the milk to the infant, even if it is unintentional.

"You would have no way of knowing," said Banschbach.

It's perfectly legal to buy and sell breast milk. After contacting several sellers, we found a Green Country mother who sold us 8 ounces of breast milk for $20.

We packed the milk that we purchased on dry ice and shipped it to a lab, which discovered bacteria that experts call an "opportunistic pathogen." This type of bacteria could make an infant ill if the child had a compromised immune system.

Experts say that even if the intention to donate is pure, there are too many unknowns on the web and in a stranger's milk.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

t town253 - 5/16/2013 9:09 AM
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That is just gross. I would rather give my child store bought formula than to put my child at such a risk. This makes me puke in my mouth......
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