More women turn to social media for free breast milk

December 06, 2017 06:33 PM

“It's kind of like the digital age of wet nurse," said Latham native Caitlin Perry. 

Breast milk is hot commodity these days. 

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“Breast milk is the most purest form of nutrition and it helps the baby to grow,” said Dr. Lorelei Michels of Healthy Beginnings - Breastfeeding Medicine, PLLC in Albany.

Dr. Lorelei s' Albany practice focuses on breast feeding medicine and helps moms like Sara Dewitt, 

"I had a little milk supply or I still have a little milk supply and I wanted to focus on making that better,” DeWitt said. 

Some moms who have trouble breast-feeding turn to donated breast milk.

They get it from hospitals or doctors like, Dr. Lorelei, who works with the New York Milk Bank.

The organization screens milk donors and pasteurizes breast milk.

However, the donated breast milk can be expensive. 

"It's 15 dollars per hundred m-l's," Dr. Lorelei said.  

That is about three to four ounces. 

Newborn babies need up to 30 ounces of milk per day, which can become costly when insurance does not pay.

As demand for breast milk grows, more women are getting it through social media for free.

"At first I honestly thought it was a little weird,” Perry said. 

Faced with an oversupply of breast milk, Perry has warmed up to the idea.
She donates what she does not use for her baby, Jacob, through the Human Milk 4 Human Babies - New York Facebook page.
"It's a community thing,” Perry said. “It's helping a living being in need. So that's why."

Dr. Lorelei said there are risks involved.

“Because you don't know what the mother have been taking or how it's been stored. In or how it's been stored." 55 also sometimes mothers have had any issues with what they are eating."

Dr. Lorelei's office is a drop-off point for the New York Milk Bank, which she says is a safer option. 

“They donated breastmilk that New York milk bank takes is vetted it is tested in terms of mom has been tested we have the records,” Dr. Lorelei said.

However, Perry insists she is upfront about her health when she donates her breast milk through social media. 

However, she warns that mothers seeking it for free online must be proactive. 

“Make sure you're asking the tough questions,” Perry said. “Don't be afraid.”



Nia Hamm

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