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Buying Breast Milk Online: What You Need to Know

More women are buying breast milk online than ever, but is it safe? A study by Nationwide Children's Hospital exposes the dangers of this trend.

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-Many doctors will tell you that breast milk is the healthiest and most natural thing you can feed a baby. And to get it, some women will go to great lengths. There is a growing trend among new moms in which milk is bought and sold online. -There are now some websites in the United States that are set up just for the purpose of connecting women who have milk to give to others and women who are looking for milk for their baby. -To see just how safe that milk really is, researcher Sarah Keim and her team at Nationwide Children's Hospital put it to the test. They bought milk anonymously on the internet and analyzed it in the lab. And what they found was shocking. -We found that 3/4 of the milk that we studied was contaminated either with high levels of bacteria or certain disease-causing bacteria like the kind found in human waste. -That's surprising to new moms like Allison Jones. Her son, Charlie, was born 3-1/2 months early, and she wanted to make sure he got all the benefits of breast milk. But like many women, she was not able to product enough milk, so she fed him milk donated to the milk bank. -Anything that would help my baby develop, I wanna make sure that it's tested, it's safe, and there's a-- there's a high quality assurance associated with it. -That's something you can't count on when you buy milk online. And Keim says even small amounts of contaminated milk can cause big problems. -Besides bacterial contamination and viruses that could be in the milk, you could be exposing your infant to chemical contaminants, pharmaceuticals, or drugs, as well. -At Nationwide Children's Hospital, this is Clark Powell reporting.