Milk Donors Beware – Choose a Milk Bank Carefully!

The story of Jill Youse’s donation of breast milk to an orphanage in South Africa has drawn greater attention to milk donation both domestically and internationally. Mothers considering milk donation within the United States should investigate their options carefully. Jennifer at The Lactivist called my attention to the discussion of Prolacta in the today’s Miami Herald. Prolacta is a for-profit company that processes breast milk donations and sells them for considerable profit. The article quotes one source:

“My big issue is that mothers are not being told that their milk is being sold for such a high amount,” said Katy Lebbing of La Leche League International, which promotes breast-feeding. At $43 an ounce, it could cost more than $1,000 a day to feed a 10-pound baby with Prolacta – 10 times the amount charged by nonprofits. “If you just do that math, that’s quite a difference in money.”

If you are interested in donating breast milk, consider donating to a nonprofit milk bank such as the Human Milk Banking Assocation of North America. Be leery of the National Milk Bank, which is affiliated with Prolacta. For more on how Prolacta is establishing ten non-profit national milk banks to collect donations and sell the milk for profit, see this Marketplace public radio piece.

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