MEDFORD, Ore. — Mothers choosing to buy breast milk online, beware! A study by Pediatrics Journal found breast milk purchased off the Internet contained infection-causing bacteria and other viruses.
In Southern Oregon, there are safer resources available for mothers. Earlier in September, Providence Medford Medical Center partnered with Northwest Mother’s Milk Bank to be a drop-off site. There’s already been interest from donors and mothers wanting to buy the milk.
Siri Swanson gave birth to her third child, Calise. Since then, she’s produced enough breast milk for her daughter and for dozens of other babies. She plans to donate 600 ounces to Providence. The milk will be distributed to Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units across the Northwest region.
“I believe breast milk is the best source of nutrient for babies,” said Swanson.
“There’s lots of research on human milk being the best milk suitable for babies, when they are especially compromised already so it’s much easier for them to digest. All kinds of wonderful benefits,” explained lactation educator Tracey Hanson.
For interested mothers like Swanson, the process is simple: contact Northwest Mother’s Milk Bank to answer questions.
“They’ll get a donor number and that number is what they’ll bring in to me saying they’ve done that first step in the process and then we meet and go from there,” said Hanson.
The donation process can then begin. Swanson plans to continue and donate till she can’t anymore.
“Right now, it’s no big deal. I just pump once a day, freeze the milk, and it doesn’t bother me at all,” said Swanson.
She hopes other mothers will also provide that gift to help other babies in need.
“It’s a really good experience. Everybody can give blood but only a small percentage can give milk, and it’s easy,” said Swanson.
Once mothers drop off milk at Providence, the milk will be checked for contaminants before it’s distributed to babies. For mothers interested in purchasing, you can contact Northwest Mother’s Milk Bank.