EUGENE, Ore. -- Breastfeeding has a number of documented benefits for mothers and babies, and some mothers are going to extreme measures to get it for their child.
Lane County Health Officials are concerned about the growing market to buy breast milk online, as a new study shows 74 percent of the milk purchased over the internet is contaminated.
In their study, the American Academy of Pediatrics found that nearly three quarters of the human milk samples bought online were contaminated.
Jason Davis with Lane County Health said this number reflects poor storage and shipping practices.
"Normal refrigeration right away. Don't leave any breast milk around, not at room temperature. It needs to be down in the low forties to high thirties,” said Davis.
Milk donor Laura Moore said of those looking to online sources for milk are mothers who aren't able to produce their own. She uses a Facebook group called Human Milk 4 Babies, a milk sharing group for moms to connect with others willing to share their breast milk.
"I post up, 'hey, I have 200-300 ounces, is there anyone in my area that needs it?’. We'd talk over the phone or over the internet. We would share our personal information about ourselves. I'd even share my blood work, and my information that I am a screened, certified donor through the milk bank,” said Moore.
However Moore said she’s seen a growing market to buy and sell milk online through sites like Craigslist.
"… and you're meeting somewhere out in a parking lot and you're hoping that the mom didn't cut her milk with cow's milk to make more money off of you,” said Moore.
Davis said it's important to get to know your donor, rather than getting milk from an unknown source.
Another way to find a milk donor is through a milk bank, like Northwest Mothers Milk Bank in Portland. Banks only collect breast milk from mothers who have already been screened.