Thursday, March 13, 2014

Would You Buy Breastmilk?

If there was breast milk for sale, would you buy it?

As of date we do not have a breastmilk bank in Davao City! Most of the moms I know who donate breast milk do so because they have extra milk to share. They express milk thinking of their babies. They handle and store their milk with care because it is for their baby. If selling happens, the intention changes and don't you think the storing and handling will change too?
Some moms I know started their journey with a breast pump and not a baby in their arms (premature and/or sick baby). And now that all is well they feel strongly that they want to give back. And they donate their milk to their birth place.

HM4HB - Davao City Philippines is network where families looking for breast milk can link up with mothers who have breast milk to SHARE! Breast milk is donated NOT SOLD!
The POD has many times been a venue for the families to meet but there is NO BREAST MILK SOLD at The POD. There was NEVER an instance where breast milk was sold in the Facebook page of Mommy Sense, Davao's first mom to mom support group.

Last year, because of Yolanda, there was a freezer full of breast milk at The POD. But that was because there was an emergency and mothers saw the urgent need to help and reach out. Even those who did not have breast milk to share went ahead and donated breast milk storage bags, ice packs and so on. This was a big group effort and the milk was shipped to PGH for pasteurization. The POD is not a breast milk bank but was and can be a drop off and pick up point for breast milk in times of need. 

Since 2012 we had instances when Grandparents, Aunts, Dads, and Moms who have just given birth, walk into The POD looking for breast milk. We addressed this as best we could and assisted some moms with breastfeeding once the babies were out of the nursery or NICU.

{I use the word nursery although there should not be one since moms and baby's should not be separated at birth. Check out Unang Yakap EINC for this and this video too. However, some of the family members, if not the mom who just gave birth, who dropped by The POD or text/ called, looking for breast milk, have full term babies who do not require intensive care. But, in the order of things in their birth place mom was sent home and was asked to produce X quantity of breast milk for her baby who was left in the hospital. For nursery practice to stop, there should be policy, but policy is not enough, it should be hearts, minds and of course training of the doctors, nurses and staff etc!}

So why should YOU NOT BUY breast milk online or in your local sari-sari store?
Jenny Ong of  Chronicles of a Nursing mom addressed it here.
And because of this study.(Sari-sari store was not in this study)

I received a Facebook message last year that made me suspect the other person was selling breast milk but it turned out she was not. I covered the photo and name of the person.

Its up to you to decide I am just pointing out that as far-out as it sound, it can happen here in Davao City. If the practice of sending moms home and requiring her to produce X quantity of milk for her baby (just like that!) does not change then desperation can take hold and the next thing we know somebody is successfully selling and someone is buying. Breastfeeding is a community effort and I don't think breast milk should ever be for sale!

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