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Wired article on the business of breast milk

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I opened our Wired this month to see an article on breast milk donation and selling. Interesting read for those interested (and curious who makes a profit on the donation - silly me; I never assumed it would be sold to hospitals for $4/ounce for the NICU).

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/05/ff_milk/all/1
post #2 of 6
Very interesting--thanks for sharing.


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post #3 of 6

Interesting read, thanks.  I am a bit peeved by the pictures though.

post #4 of 6

Very interesting read, thanks for posting.

 

But is this part really true, "a pumping session takes, on average, 15 minutes and yields 6 ounces"--6 oz??? Really?? that's the average for the average mom, not those with oversupply whom I suspect are the biggest milk donors or sellers? 2 oz total (and then at only my peak pumping session, not a usual thing) was the best I could EVER hope for.

post #5 of 6

Yeah, I was surprised by the pumping "stats" as well. 

post #6 of 6

The cost really is $4/oz for banked donor milk, but that only covers the costs of processing and tracking for non-profit banks.  I know it's a lot, but for preemies who can't handle the normal stuff that a term infant would be able to tolerate (something like CMV, for example, is no big deal to a term baby, but can kill a preemie) it is essential that human milk not further compromise their health. 

 

And even at $4/oz, a little goes a long way for the really tiny babies.  Plenty of them just get donor milk for oral care while they're still on IV nutrition.  And many more babies get donor milk as a supplement because their mothers are still working on building their supply.

 

I donated milk to the Fort Worth milk bank ( a HMBANA bank) and I'm confident that they are a well run, efficient organization that does an excellent job of minimizing costs while they minimize risks for very tiny and very sick babies.

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