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How safe is internet breast milk?

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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 10:54 am | Updated: 11:04 am, Mon Oct 21, 2013.

It’s being billed as the modern-day “wet nurse.” 

Websites are selling breast milk for infants to consume.  But a new study finds the breast milk you buy over the internet may contain high levels of bacteria.

Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital teamed with Cincinnati Children’s for the study. They bought more than 100 samples of breast milk through a popular u.s. milk-sharing website and compared them to samples of unpasteurized, donated milk obtained through a milk bank.

Results show 74% of the internet milk samples were colonized with high bacteria counts overall compared to 25% of the milk bank samples.

Researchers say the results reflect poor collection, storage or shipping practices and infants who drink milk bought via the internet are at risk for negative consequences.

They recommend women who have extra milk donate to a milk bank and those having trouble making enough milk for their baby to consult a lactation expert.

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