Breastfeeding

Would you sell excess milk?

I would certainly never sell what my baby needed, but how about if you have an abundant supply or oversupply?  I've seen that frozen breastmilk goes for $1-4 an ounce online, which would be a really tempting extra source of income.  Anyone actually do this? 

 FYI - haven't actually had a baby yet, due in December, so I've got no idea about the reality of nursing :)

Re: Would you sell excess milk?

  • I wouldn't sell to an individual because there are some pervs out there that get off on it, and I'd never trust a pumper enough to purchase their milk.  The company I'll be donating to will donate $1 ounce to the Susan G. Komen foundation (and maybe others) in your name.

    GSx1 - 05/13/2013
    babybaby
  • I wouldn't sell it. I'd donate it to someone in need or a milk bank.
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  • In Canada it's illegal to sell breastmilk. (although I am sure there are people doing it) I would feel weird selling it but I would donate it.

    (EDIT It has been illegal, things change but I haven't checked recently) 

  • Yeah... no.

    Donate it, stash it, or dump it.

    It creeps me out thinking that one would even consider selling BM considering how many mothers/LOs would benefit from donated BM.

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  • image Crash Into Me:
    I wouldn't sell it. I'd donate it to someone in need or a milk bank.

    Ditto this. I think it's a bit vain to sell something like breast milk. 

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  • No.

    I would donate it, though. 

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  • While I would be more inclined to donate I don't think it's wrong to sell it. People get money for plasma, sperm, egg, and blood donations. I don't see why milk would be any different.
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  • I donate mine. I pump 8 times a day and produce about 50-60 ozs, more than double what my son needs so my freezer fills up FAST (I end up freezing 125 ounces or so per week). While an extra $125 per week would be awesome, I would never sell it when I know there are moms out there truly in need of it for their babies. I donate to 2 moms right now, one who has an adopted daughter that has some extreme eating issues and must be tube feed (like tube down the throat to have milk constantly pumped in since she will not eat on her own nor show any hunger cues). The other baby I donate to was a premie and the mothers body wasn't given the time to mature enough to produce much milk at all. I could never imagine asking for money from them and I donate over 100 ounces a week to each of them if I have it. From what I have seen though, those that get donated milk are beyond appreciative and often do what they can to show their appreciation (one of them buys me breast milk storage bags and oranges, the other brings me containers and cookies). If someone offered money, wouldn't even take it. I look at it as good karma. :)
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  • image emilykathleen511:
    While I would be more inclined to donate I don't think it's wrong to sell it. People get money for plasma, sperm, egg, and blood donations. I don't see why milk would be any different.

    This. I think I could justify selling some if I also donated. Especially after the first year of your child's life, when donations are no longer accepted. 

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  • image Runaway22:

    image emilykathleen511:
    While I would be more inclined to donate I don't think it's wrong to sell it. People get money for plasma, sperm, egg, and blood donations. I don't see why milk would be any different.

    This. I think I could justify selling some if I also donated. Especially after the first year of your child's life, when donations are no longer accepted. 

    Even though I would never personally sell the milk, I don't understand the moral reluctance to do so.  In my mind, parents who are receiving donor milk would have to pay for formula to feed their children if they weren't receiving breast milk, so the argument that you are somehow depriving a child in need by charging a small fee doesn't make sense anymore than it would make sense to be outraged at formula companies for not just giving away their products for free.

    Also, many of the moms I have known who have received donated milk could certainly have paid a fee for that milk.  Just because someone can't BF doesn't mean they don't have sufficient financial stability.  In fact, many women struggle to BF because they have to go back to work so early post-partum.  For these women, paying another mother $100/week would be reasonable and would make it much easier for the recipient mother to feel good about continuing that relationship.

    Again, I understand that there could be problems if BM became a commodity (mainly that some women could basically become exploited as "cash cows" and potentially sell milk that is contaminated in some way out of desperation for money), but to me this fear should be no different than the homeless people who are all lined up in front of the plasma bank on my way to work every morning.  They are not donating purely for generous reasons--they are getting paid.  But the people who receive that plasma don't care--it still saves lives, even if the donor was paid a reasonable fee for such a valuable product.

     Again, I am not advocating one way or another--just wanted to add my two cents to this interesting conversation.

  • image Crash Into Me:
    I wouldn't sell it. I'd donate it to someone in need or a milk bank.


    This. There are many babies that need that milk. My donated milk went to NICU babies, and that is a special thing to me because of our NICU experience with pumping and breast feeding.


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  • For everyone who says they can't even imagine selling it, there are several milk banks that are stocked by donations that turn around and sell it to companies. So you have to check where you donate. The company turns it into human milk fortifier HMF to be used as a calorie booster in EBM for NICU babies. And the company charges an arm and a leg for it. And then the insurance companies have to pay. The company has pure profits off milk donated without compensation for even bags or shipping. So if its really important that your milk is going directly to babies who need it "for free" or whatever, make sure you know where you're donating.
  • image Crash Into Me:
    I wouldn't sell it. I'd donate it to someone in need or a milk bank.


    This exactly. I donated over 150oz a few months ago to a woman in my area that has a son who is so sensitive to everything. She doesn't produce enough milk on her own. My LC knew of her through the WIC program and hooked us up. Best thing ever knowing you help someone out rather than get greedy with it trying to make a buck.

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  • So what I'm getting at is there are women out there with babies too sensitive for any formula that don't produce enough on their own and can't afford to buy milk. Why deny them the opportunity to have free milk?

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  • TCMom78TCMom78
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Comments 5 Love Its
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    Try "eats on feets" Facebook page, or something like that!
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  • As a low supply mom with Igt and pcos, who had to use donor milk for my son and likely will have to again for this baby, I would never pay for donor milk. Once you take away the donor aspect, people's motives become much more questionable. I belong to a whole fb group of igt moms, over 1200 of us, and I cannot think of a single person in our group who would pay for milk. When you give donor milk, you are trusting the other mother literally with your baby's life. Mothers who donate do so as a selfless gift and that selfless act engenders trust. So, you may want to consider the perspectives of women who actually have to use donor milk in making your decision. It isn't generally because people are going back to work; it's because we sadly do not make enough milk to feed our children, which is a devastating and painful loss to a mother. Donor milk is also difficult to get; there are so many more babies in need vs. donors.
  • I wouldn't, it would feel wrong. Here in Canada, you can't legally sell blood, sperm or eggs. To me, it's all the same category. I have an oversupply and my LO doesn't take bottles so I stored a bit and have tossed the rest. I've dumped litres of milk because our province doesn't have a milk bank. I would definitely have donated if I could've. If someone wanted it locally I would accept money for the bags (or have them buy them) but that would be it.
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  • I've donated via Human Milk for Human Babies.

    I also donate blood. To me, it's a wonderful opportunity to help someone, not a job. 

  • gidgegidge
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 250 Answers Combo Breaker
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    I've thought about using donor milk - I don't think I'd ever be willing to pay for it.  I feel like someone who is donating it, is possibly doing it for a different reason than someone selling it.  If someone is making money off it, would they be more likely to do something to it to "stretch" it (add water, etc)?


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  • image emilykathleen511:
    While I would be more inclined to donate I don't think it's wrong to sell it. People get money for plasma, sperm, egg, and blood donations. I don't see why milk would be any different.

    This totally.


    GSx1 - 05/13/2013
    babybaby
  • Sell? No. Donate? Yes. 
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