(WBEN) - A new study released on Monday says that breast milk purchased online may be filled with high levels of harmful bacteria and other contamination.
"We found that about three quarters of the breast milk that we purchased on the internet had either high levels of bacteria or had specific disease-causing bacteria like the kind that are in human waste," said Dr. Sarah Keim, author of the city.
The contamination of the milk was most likely due to poor hygine during milk collection Keim said.
Keim said there was one bright spot to the study.
"The good news is the message from the medical community that breast feeding is the best thing for babies is reaching women, but some women are so dedicated to the idea of feeding their child breast milk, and then they have trouble producing enough milk for their child, that they go to great lengths to get that milk."
Tina Harman is the Lactation Coordinator at Sisters' Hospital, she says that breast milk is the best thing to feed a newborn, but purchasing that milk online is not the way to go. Harman says that milk donor banks take milk from other mothers that has been pasteurized and distributes it out to mothers in need. However, Harman says that the closest milk donor bank to Western New York is in Ohio.
"I think... we need to go to milk donor banks," Harman said. "Unfortunately, not having one in New York State, people go to the next closest thing, and nowadays that's the internet."
Harman and Keim both say that for a woman having trouble producing milk, their best course of action would be to seek advice from their pediatrician or a lactation consultant.