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Sharing Breast Milk on Facebook: A Rising Trend

By Heather Turgeon |

Breast Milk and Milk Bank

Sharing Breast Milk on Facebook

Social media has embraced the age old practice of sharing breast milk with the Facebook group Eats on Feets Global.

Shell Walker, a midwife from Phoenix, started the local Facebook page, and Emma Kwasnica — a Montreal mom who has apparently had her Facebook account suspended multiple times for posting pictures of herself breastfeeding her infant and two year old at the same time — took the idea global to expand the Eats on Feets into a virtual breast milk-sharing community.

Kwasnica, who has over 250,000 members on her Facebook page “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding Is Not Obsene!” definitely knows how to work social media. Here’s how the milk-sharing page is going and why I like it:  

The page matches women who have an excess supply with women who can not produce enough milk or are busy working and can’t pump enough to feed their baby. According to a Time article on the Facebook breastfeeding network, more than 70 matches have been made so far (milk being transported far and wide) and 98 local groups have formed.

Donated milk through official milk banks can run a cost of $100/day, so this grassroots method of giving and receiving could be the way of the future.

And the Eats on Feets folks seem savvy and conscientious about providing moms with information on health risks and precautions to take when sharing. For example, a UC Berkeley study showed that flash-heating breast milk kills the HIV virus, without stripping its nutritional properties, as can happen in the full-on pasteurization process.

If it’s done responsibly, this is exactly the kind of community support women need around breastfeeding. Have you ever considered using a milk bank or a more casual means of giving or taking milk from another mom?

Image: flickr/ODHD

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About Heather Turgeon

heatherturgeon

Heather Turgeon

Heather Turgeon is currently writing the book The Happy Sleeper (Penguin, 2014). She's a therapist-turned-writer who authors the Science of Kids column for Babble. A northeasterner at heart, Heather lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two little ones. Read bio and latest posts → Read Heather's latest posts →

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10 thoughts on “Sharing Breast Milk on Facebook: A Rising Trend

  1. BH LeWarn says:

    I would share milk if it could help another family. It’s the same principal as giving blood. If I have an ample supply of something that can benefit someone else I can’t think of a reason not to share it.

  2. Shell Walker says:

    Hey Love! Thank you for the sweet shout-out! There is no reason that milk sharing needs to be anything less than safe, affordable and easy.

    Just a minor correction for ya:
    Emma’s page is Informed Choice and can be found at:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=21515708855

    Much love, and thanks again!
    Shell

  3. dot says:

    Milk Banks are for premature and sick infants that may not survive without the benefit of human donor milk. Well I appreciate the sentiment and sharing milk between mothers, Nope thanks across the country are desperate for supplies of milk to save babies live

  4. dot says:

    Milk Banks are for premature and sick infants that may not survive without the benefit of human donor milk. Whilel I appreciate the sentiment of sharing milk between mothers, milk banks across the country are desperate for supplies of milk to save sick and extremely fragile babies lives. HMBANA.ORG can provide info on where to donate if interested.

  5. dot says:

    Sorry for the typos on first post. Please delete. I am on my phone!

  6. heatherturgeon says:

    thanks shell! looks like i got the address right, but name wrong. informed choice — thanks for the note :)

  7. Danielle says:

    I hope that facebook doesn’t get a hair up their butt and delete this because it has to do with breastfeeding which we all know they think is so horribly obscene!

  8. Mommy of 5 says:

    Breast milk is for human babies not just premature or sick babies. many moms that need to supplement would rather use donated breast milk and breast milk banks charge a lot. If something were to happen to me I would want my husband to use donated breast milk rather than formula. I am planning on investing in a better pump and helping out women in my area, I hope others do the same.

  9. Sam says:

    There are thousands of women who CAN’T donate to milk banks, because they live too far from the bank/they take a certain medication/their baby is too old (to name just a few!) but would still like to donate. I’ve heard the line SO many times: “I *wish* I’d known about donating earlier, but my baby is too old now, and they won’t take my milk…” This system uses the milk that milk banks are too stringent to accept.

  10. Rosana says:

    I would gladly donate breastmilk but I do not think I will take breastmilk from somebody else for my kids. But at the same time, I have never had problems providing breastmilk for my kids so maybe if I had, my opinion could be different.

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