Breast Milk Screening
Breastfeeding another mother’s baby is thought to be safe when taking precautions to make sure that the seller/donor is well screened. Some diseases can be transmitted through breastmilk, like HIV and Syphilis. The seller or the buyer can also pasteurize the breast milk which can kill viruses and bacteria, however pasteurizing also takes out many nutrients.
Precaution that a family receiving breast milk can take:
- Have the breastfeeding seller screened by blood-work tests like what is done at a milk bank. These would include HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis and Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV). If your donor has been screened, make sure that the tests are current.
- Get a letter from the breast milk donor’s doctor that says that the seller’s milk will not risk the health to her child and is in good health.
- Ask the seller for documents that show past health history, similar to what you would fill out at the doctors office or what donors would complete at milk banks.
- Have the seller or receiver of breast milk pasteurize the milk
- Get to know your breast milk donor by talking with them about their lifestyle.
- Talk with your breast milk seller about what they are doing proper hygiene when handling breast milk.
Do reject breast milk from sellers/donors that you feel uncomfortable with, live an unhealthy lifestyle, do not have complete medical health history or who refuse to get blood-work done.
When purchasing breast milk your seller should be carefully screened and tested. They should be in good health, not using illegal drugs, and not consuming alcohol the day of pumping.
Disclaimer: All material on onlythebreast.com is provided for educational purposes only and/or to connect moms together. Consult your physician regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.