Women are selling their breast milk on Facebook – but it’s proving harmful for babies

Parents warned to not buy milk online to prevent spread of infectious diseases

Women in the UK and US are selling breast milk on Facebook, despite warnings that it could cause the spread of infectious diseases and be harmful to babies.

New mothers are tempted to buy breast milk if they struggle to produce their own, as it’s better for babies than formulas.

New websites such as onlythebreast.co.uk give mothers the opportunity to both buy and sell milk, claiming ‘our discrete breastfeeding breast milk classified system makes it possible to sell or buy breast milk in a clean, private way.’

Donor mothers list their milk and age of their baby on the site at a sale price of around £1 per fluid ounce.

However doctors have warned of the dangers of buying milk online. Wolfram Hartmann, president of the Professional Association of Pediatricians, says: ‘Donors can be taking medicines or drugs, have infectious illnesses like AIDS or Hepatitis.

‘Nobody can check whether the unknown mother’s milk is harmless for the particular child.’

Onlythebreast.co.uk says families can take precautions like asking for medical documents showing the donor has a clean bill of health, but this isn’t mandatory.

The NHS runs milk banks, a legitimate way to donate and receive breast milk for free.

This is collected from pre-screened mothers and pasteurised to prevent disease.

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