Breastmilk sharing is becoming increasingly widespread despite risks to the baby

More and more often, women who are unable to produce enough breast milk for their children resort to the practice of sharing breast milk, also known as “milk sharing,” a practice that even sees the sale of milk online from the same mothers.

Using milk donated by other mothers on an informal basis is a practice that is not universally considered safe and is discouraged by the pediatric medical community, as reported by a press release presenting a new study presented in turn at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) conference.

According to Nikita Sood, a researcher at Cohen Children’s Medical Center – Northwell Health in New York and author of the study, sharing breast milk is becoming increasingly widespread and popular and it is therefore important that the same doctors are aware of this level of diffusion and deepen the risks associated with this practice.

The study made use of the answers provided by 650 mothers, more than half of whom declared that they had no problems regarding this practice, carried out informally and not, for example, through “official” milk berries. Almost 80% of the mothers interviewed did not give their breast milk donors a medical examination because they “trusted them.” However, there is a fairly high risk of the potential spread of disease or exposure to substances such as drugs, alcohol, drugs or other types of contaminants when supplying the baby with milk from another mother’s breast.

According to the AAP’s own recommendation, those women who are unable to produce breast milk can supplement diets in other ways, such as with artificial milk or with breast milk stored in formal milk banks. More than half of the people interviewed stated that they did not use “official” milk banks as they were mostly concerned with the cost or, to a lesser extent, with the quality or ability to obtain a prescription.