Breast milk online may be tainted but milk banks are safe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Breast milk online may be tainted but milk banks are safe

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Jean Drulis is the director and co-founder of the Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa. The goal there is to make sure every baby has access to the nutritional benefits of breast milk.

"Any place where there's a baby in need of milk, lacking mother's own milk, there's milk for them -- human milk," said Drulis.

It worries her that people turn to websites like Craigslist to buy and sell breast milk.

"It really opens liability issues for everyone concerned," said Drulis.

Issues like bacteria: A new study by researchers at Nationwide Children Hospital found nearly 75 percent of breast milk bought online is tainted.

That's why Drulis recommends going through a milk bank.

Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa in Coralville is the only one in Iowa. It's one of just 14 in the United States and they ship milk from here to all across the country.

At the facility, they pasteurize the milk. Then it's sent to the State Hygienic Laboratory for testing.

"If there is bacteria growing, we have to discard the milk," said Drulis.

The milk is sent on dry ice so it doesn't go bad. There's also strict instructions for people donating, who also have to send milk frozen or drop it off at a collection depot. There's 15 of those in Iowa.

"We'd welcome more donors," said Drulis. "We're always in need of donors."

The milk bank also screens donors carefully, to the woman, her doctor, and her baby's doctor.

For more information about the milk bank, visit their website or their Facebook page.

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