Milk-Sharing Moms Unite via Facebook

ss_BXP139101mWhile milk sharing is an age-old practice dating back to the days of  “wet nurses,” it’s recently been given a very modernized twist, thanks to social media.  Specifically, a popular new Facebook network established just a few weeks ago by a group of determined breastfeeding mothers looking to take milk matters into their own hands.

It all started with Shell Walker, an Arizona mid-wife who realized her social media account could provide an incredible and immediate resource for matching mothers unable to produce enough breast milk to those willing to donate their extra supply. Currently, it’s extremely difficult for families to access breast milk from milk banks unless a child is premature or very ill, and on top of that, it can cost upwards of $100 per day. Walker’s Eats On Feets page provided a creative work-around to these roadblocks.

According to a recent article on Time.com, “In just a few weeks the network has grown to 98 local groups, spanning all 50 states in the U.S. and 22 countries. More than 70 matches have been reported so far, with milk coming not only in bags and jars, but also sometimes directly from the source.”  While informal milk sharing is a highly debated topic given present day stigmas and concerns regarding HIV, the Time article does report that “the World Health Organization recommends ‘raw’ donor milk if a mother’s own supply won’t suffice.”

This is an interesting example of how social media can lift restraints and provide a choice. What do you think about the Eats On Feets program? Would you consider getting involved in something like this?

Add a Comment
Back To GoodyBlog
  1. by Jennifer (a.k.a. Momma Cupcake)

    On November 23, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    This is one of the most natural things a parent can do for their child, human milk is the normal thing for babies to eat! If a mom or baby is sick or something of the like and needs more milk, this is the most logical way to resolve the issue. Can’t wait to donate!

  2. by Wendy

    On November 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Wonderful! This idea will build communities and grow healthier babies. It’s all good. Human milk for human babies.

  3. by Guggie Daly

    On November 24, 2010 at 12:21 am

    The Eats on Feets movement inspired me to get out my pump and begin pumping for a local mama that I found through my EOF chapter!

  4. by Lauren Ferrari

    On November 24, 2010 at 2:51 am

    I help run the Guam EOF chapter, and am completely willing and able to pump for any mom here in need of milk. :)

  5. by Leslie LaLeche

    On November 24, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I think the Eats on Feets network is amazing! It is wonderful to be able to find milk when you need it and find a donor near you when you have some to spare. It used to be harder for woman to do both. I used Mothering.com’s forum when I donated milk. They don’t usually “allow” that and it has become harder to use MDC for that. With EOF we can openly, easily share milk and connect w/ one another. I am proud to be a part of this, proud to know such loving,caring mothers, and proud to be able to help other babies in my state get the human milk they deserve and need.

  6. by Kathleen

    On November 24, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I don’t think this sharing of breast milk among strangers is a good idea. To put it simply “it leaves a bad taste in my mouth”.

  7. by Gretchen

    On November 24, 2010 at 10:20 am

    So glad to see EOF getting so much attention. I help support the EOF LowCountry chapter in SC. I want to help in any way I can so I am donating freezer space in my deep freezer since I am not lactating. Do what you can.

    Women helping other women and families. What could be better than bringing together communities for the sake of our children.

  8. by T

    On November 24, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Brilliant idea! Milk sharing is a time-old tradition, and is much healthier for babies than switching to formula. I’m glad someone has come up with a way to make it possible for the general public again, instead of limiting it to those who can afford $100 a day.

  9. by Lindy

    On November 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Kathleen- as long as precautions are taken (obviously mothers with known diseases don’t donate and tests can be done before donating to ensure safety) this is perfectly safe and much more beneficial than formula! Considering the flithy conditions most dairy cows are in with factory farming and all, I’d take human milk over bovine anyday!!!

  10. by Holly

    On November 24, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Kathleen, why is that? What is bad about babies getting HUMAN milk? Formula is just cow milk donated from a COW :) I would MUCH rather my baby get human milk than a cow milk (or worse, soy milk) dehydrated and pumped full of chemicals! :( I have used formula in the past and I see its effects on my children. My youngest baby just turned one on the 15 of this month and has never touched a drop of formula. All breastmilk :) All from me but I would not have hesitated to use milk from another mother rather than formula again.. since my guy REFUSES a bottle it would more than likely have had to come from the tap.. which would have been fine with me.. as long as I didn’t have to give THIS child formula ;)

  11. by Tiffany

    On November 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Kathleen,

    Why is it that people are more willing to accept milk from an entirely different species which is usually brought up under horrible conditions, that doesn’t suit our bodies as well as human milk?

    It seems a more natural route is to consume milk which is made specifically for humans.

    People/society are disconnected though. We live very far from what is healthy for us. Comments like Kathleen’s don’t surprise me much.

  12. by Heather D.

    On November 24, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Coming from the perspective of a mama in need, Eats on Feets is a great gift to families! Within just a few days of posting my need, I had several women contact me to try and connect. My son and I *BOTH* get to rest a little easier thanks to milk from women willing to donate!

  13. by Cherise

    On November 25, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Shel’s rightfully seized an opportunity to re-connect a physically disconnected system! I love it. Screening should play a part in the process, but milk-sharing is the next best thing when momma can’t provide.

  14. by buy pandora jewelry

    On July 24, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply cool and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.