Kyra Davis, a new mother realized she had been producing more quantities of milk than required. So she started storing it. She heard about donor banks facing human milk shortages, some premature or sick infants may not digest formula, and so need human milk.
Davis made use of Facebook groups for providing it to such children and parents who needed it. These groups may be open or closed, depending on their rules. Davis now donates milk to 7-8 families. They take 50 oz. milk from her, in exchange for tokens of gratitude.
When her child was born, Davis was provided equipment for stimulating milk supply, which helped her immensely. She wanted to donate her milk to a donor bank, but it was too much of a logistical hassle. AAP recommends human milk for all premature babies. However, shortages cause hospitals to ration them. A few Facebook groups allow human milk sales at $3-$16 an ounce. Davis sticks to recommended guidelines for healthy milk productions and stores her milk safely.
However, when Susan Crowe, who is an obstetrician, studied these samples, over 10% were found to be mixed with cow milk. She states that donated milk had lower risk, due to good intentions.
However, donor banks ensure safety procedures, which are lacking in Facebook group sales. AAP, FDA, and CDC authorities recommend against such purchases and recommend donation-based banks.
Vanessa Larco of NEA underwent these difficulties as well. She is now searching for ways to streamline the whole process and ensure better quality. Despite guidelines, sharing of breast milk will continue. Several campaigns have successfully argued against formula milk but it is feared they are overblowing their disadvantages and increasing breast milk related problems.
Since women had to balance career and caring for their baby, they were at a disadvantage. Davis stated that her donations felt great and observed that a few mothers were ashamed of them an inability to breastfeed. Society placed a lot of expectations on mothers, which was hard to fulfill, she said.