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How do you know it's safe?

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How do you know it's safe?

Post by coltonsmommy09 on Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:38 am

For the moms who receive BM from MilkShare, how do you know it's safe? Especially if you have never met the donor in person, and the milk isn't tested? It just bothers me that (IN MY OPINION) you are blindly feeding your child someone else's body fluid without knowing what's really in it?

I am a nurse in the NICU and we have strict practices with our BM and we only use donor BM if it's been pasteurized and sterilized and comes from a licensed milk bank. I know the differences between preemies and healthy newborns but it seems the safety issues with BM should be the same for both sets of babies.

Do most of you meet the mother that is supplying your milk in person?
Has anyone made the donor obtain blood work or get the milk tested, or do you go on blind faith?

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Re: How do you know it's safe?

Post by jburth7 on Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:49 pm

I went with my gut reaction from all my donors. I did meet all but one of them (one that was shipped to me), and I did ask general questions regarding medications, caffeine, smoking, drinking, but in the end, to me, it didn't really matter.

For me, I felt that if the donor was feeding their own child and was willing to spend the time pumping and storing milk for me, then they wouldn't be doing it to harm another child.

Call it blind faith, call it crazy, call it whatever you want, but I desperately wanted to give my child exclusively breastmilk and wasn't able to provide her with everything she needed without the help of my donors.

My daughter received donated milk for her entire first year of life and has thrived - she only had one minor cold the entire year... so, I consider myself really lucky that these donors exist.

I had some reservations when I first started asking for donations, but once I got the first donation and saw how wonderful my first donor was, it just became something I really wanted to do for my daughter and I didn't really question the safety after that.

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Re: How do you know it's safe?

Post by veggiegymrat on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:00 pm

I agree with the poster above. I went with my gut on every donor I've had. Most donors have offered to provide me with a copy of bloodwork done while they were pregnant but I never felt I needed to see it.

I have only met 2 of my donors (soon to be 3). Most of the donor milk I've gotten has been shipped, which has been very expensive. My daughter is only 3 months old and I've probably spent $1500 or more.

I have had one mother up front, in the first message, tell me she has genital herpes and has had them for 10 years. She explained that she hadn't had an outbreak in 3 years and told me she took all precautions to keep her hands clean while pumping and bagging. I personally was okay with this but my husband was not, due to the sanitary process involved with pumping and storing, so we declined. She didn't even have to tell me, but she did and I was grateful. She respected our decision.

These women are feeding their own children and doing the best they can for them. After that, they're taking time out of their days, away from their families, away from work, to pump for us! Someone they've never even met before!!!! They are pumping (alot of times more than once a day), bagging, freezing and shipping milk, all which take an immense amount of time. To give us the most perfect food on the planet. If that's not generous and wonderful and good enough to trust, I don't know what is.
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Re: How do you know it's safe?

Post by Catnurse on Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:49 am

The short answer is, you don't. A more complex answer, how do you know anything you consume not grown by your hand is safe? You simply trust that it is. More often than not, those who donate, did not pump with the intentions to do so. We pumped with intention to feed our own children, and upon realizing that there was in fact, an abundance of extra milk, happened upon a site such as this. A place where we can help others from feeding their children a substance based on the milk of another mammal, not human, not what humans were designed to eat.

Also, having worked in the NICU for over 8 yrs in my nursing career, know that their is a significant difference in the hospital environment than the real world. When under the scrutiny of such commissions as JACHO and others, many precautions are in place. Not all of them feasible and logical if you asked my personal opinion. If the protocols in place are fail safe, nosocomial infections would not exist correct? Yet more people acquire and die from infections in the hospital than the general population.

If one is concerned that a woman would take all the time and effort involved to pump, store, and donate their milk only to cause harm to another innocent being, than this is not the place for you. Milk sharing is not a new phenomenon, just brought more global and accessible because of the internet and sites like this. This is an amazing thing Smile
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Re: How do you know it's safe?

Post by sarahb918 on Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:16 pm

I'm not a recipient, but I plan to donate once my baby is born in November. I had a full STD panel and blood work done early in my pregnancy and I will happily provide all of my donors with a copy for their peace of mind. I will also disclose anything they wish to know about my diet and lifestyle as I have nothing to hide and nothing that would contraindicate me donating milk.

I know not all donors do this, but it's something that I would prefer to have if I were on the receiving end so I don't mind doing it for my recipients.

I really hate to say it, but the "strict practices" and regulations of milk banks are precisely the reasons that mamas turn to organizations like Milk Share. Milk bank milk is mostly given to hospitals and then the hospitals only give it to preemies in the NICU. While I do definitely agree that preemies should be the number one priority, it does leave a lot of other mamas and babies hanging. What about the mama who had a breast reduction and desperately wants her baby to have breastmilk, but doesn't produce enough of her own? Or the mama who started her baby on formula before realizing that there aren't any formulas out there that her baby can tolerate without throwing up or becoming horribly constipated? Their babies need the milk too and they aren't likely to get it from a bank or a hospital. So their only choice is to keep giving formula or seek out another mama who is willing to share her milk.

As far as I know, none of the donors here are getting paid except maybe shipping costs and storage supplies (which they wouldn't need if they weren't donating so it's not like they're gaining anything). There is really no motivation for them to lie about their health just to be able to donate milk. It's something that they're doing because they feel called to help these babies and I can't imagine someone like that purposely withholding health information or choosing to donate when they know that their milk isn't safe.

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Re: How do you know it's safe?

Post by milkyjoe906 on Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 pm

you dont know its safe but you can always buy formula if your worried about it

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Re: How do you know it's safe?

Post by buarising on Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:31 pm

I think one poster hit it on the head- why would anyone spend all this time pumping and freezing and sterilizing just to hurt a baby? And honestly, I believe most of us intended to feed our own babies with it, it just is how circumstances worked out that we have the opportunity to donate.

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Re: How do you know it's safe?

Post by atimms on Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:35 am

I've donated milk, and the recipients don't know for certain that my milk is safe. They don't know for certain that I don't smoke, drink, or do drugs. But they do know that I nourish my own child with my milk - and I wouldn't do anything to harm him. Just as I wouldn't do anything to harm another woman's child.

I think recipients place A LOT of trust in their donors.
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Re: How do you know it's safe?

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