Study finding most purchased breast milk could be flawed, commun - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Study finding most purchased breast milk could be flawed, community reacts

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Research shows nearly 80 percent of new mothers are breastfeeding in 2013. However, it is not always an easy task.

Some have resorted to purchasing breast milk online to feed their babies.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics reports 75 percent of the milk bought online could be dangerous to feed to babies without first pasteurizing it.

Researchers studying breast milk purchased online from www.theonlybreast.com report that the proportions of human milk samples with each bacteria type were:

  • Coliform -- - 44% of samples of milk sold online versus 25% of human milk samples
  • Salmonella sp -- - 3% versus 0%
  • Staphylococcus sp -- - 63% versus 25%
  • Streptococcus sp -- - 36% versus 20%

Coliform is a bacteria caused by poor hygiene.

Rachel Leverette is the mother of a three-month old, and member of an online breast milk donation group. Her son, Hunter, was born premature, and spent weeks in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

"I would never poison my child, I would never poison someone else's baby ever," Leverette said.

After mothers like Leverette began to speak out about the report, researchers seemed to have started taking a closer look.

Sarah A. Keim, PhD with the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital directed the study. She says, "It's possible that some samples were not entirely breast milk."

It's now unfolding that the milk could've been diluted with cow milk.

Leverette uses an Avent breast pump to express breast milk for her baby and others.

"My first donation was to a family who were not able to have a baby, and they adopted a baby and I donated over 500 ounces to them," Leverette said.

Leverett claimed she donated over 1,000 ounces of breast milk to families all over Georgia. However, she does admit buying breast milk online from an anonymous donor can be risky.

"Because you don't get the human, face-to-face interaction to kind of read that person, and see what they are about. That would concern me. That's why, with Human Milk for Human babies, I do meet-ups. I don't want to ship because I want them to see me."

Leverett believed finding a donation group that offers breast milk free to families is a safer option. She said her milk is 100 percent free of charge, and she does that because she wants to help other mother's in need.

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