Friday, December 30, 2011

Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas adds to local streetscape

Love this - new Mother's Milk Bank of North Texas building lauded for its consideration of local streetscape.

Pic from

"Fort Worthology - Mother’s Milk Bank Opens New Magnolia Facility: A unique new storefront has opened up on Magnolia Avenue just east of Hemphill in the Near Southside – the new home of Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas.
...This important facility has a new home on Magnolia, and it’s a wonderful example of street-oriented, pedestrian-scaled remodeling. ..."

Hospitals, nurses, moms, activists, all play a role to protect and support breastfeeding

This excellent article illustrates how the work being done to protect and encourage breastfeeding is broad and all-encompassing. Here we see the protests at Target, informing moms of their rights to nurse in public, efforts to get infant formula freebies out of hospitals, support for lactation programs in hospitals, the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, and the need to seek funding for human milk donations - they are all part of the same effort: to protect and support breastfeeding. Doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, midwives, moms, activists - all play a role. (And good work, Sarasota Memorial, for hooking your story into the current media angle of nurse-ins at Target.)
"Sarasota Memorial: Breast-feeding Yes, Formula No - Sarasota, FL Patch: Sarasota Memorial: Breast-feeding Yes, Formula No
Sarasota Memorial Hospital is concentrating its efforts to educate new mothers about the benefits of breast-feeding and has stopped giving formula to new moms.
By Charles Schelle

Ever since the breast-feeding incident at a Houston Target store, feeding babies by breast has garnered plenty of comments from folks both for and against feeding in public...."

Utah moms donate a ton of milk (and why are we measuring human milk donations by weight?)

University of Utah's donor milk bank has collected over 2,300 lbs of milk (Yes, that's pounds. Why are we measuring human milk donations in pounds now?) from about 30 donors.

Co-director Christy Porucznik is paraphrased in this Salt Lake Trib article as saying she doesn't think Prolacta's recent foray into the state, which has a relatively high breastfeeding initiation and duration rates, has made an impact on supplies.

Which is interesting since Prolacta's Helping Hands milk bank, which to collects milk for free from women to feed the Prolacta product line, said in November they received 50 applications from Utah moms after they launched their recruitment campaign. Did the donors change their minds once they learned their milk would be going to a for-profit company instead of a the non-profit HMBANA Mother's Milk bank?

At any rate, HMBANA president Jean Drulis says they collected 112,500 pounds (pounds?!) of milk from 3,000 women last year.
"Utahns donate one ton of breast milk to needy infants | The Salt Lake Tribune mobile edition: Utahns donate one ton of breast milk to needy infants

The Salt Lake Tribune
First published Dec 28 2011 03:44PM
Updated Dec 28, 2011 09:22PM

Utah reached a milk milestone this month.

Nursing women have donated more than one ton of breast milk to a nonprofit milk bank since the University of Utah opened its milk donation center in February."

Related HMN blog posts:
US company Prolacta milks donors, charity partners - Aug 2012
Denver Mother's Milk Bank, Prolacta vie for Utah #humanmilk donations - Dec 2011

Glasgow babies need human milk

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is calling for moms to donate human milk to meet increased demand. The milk bank coordinator Debbie Barnett says they're looking for more donors within two hours of Glasgow. This makes sense - shipping milk longer distances is expensive and it should be unnecessary - for every preemie born needing extra milk there must be dozens of other babies born on or around the same day whose mothers have the potential to donate. It seems practical and sustainable that the UK's network of 16 milk banks is encouraging donations from mothers who live in the local area.

(Note, the Evening Times article below requires free registration to view completely.)
"Milk plea to keep babies fit and well - Evening Times | News: Milk plea to keep babies fit and well

Evenign Times

23 Dec 2011
HEALTH chiefs are urging new mums in Glasgow to help some of the city’s most vulnerable babies this festive season."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BBC News - 'Overwhelming' response to appeal for new mums to donate breast milk

Last fall the milk bank in Irvinestown, Ireland, found its stores of donated human milk at critically low levels, and after an appeal more than 100 women came forward and now the milk bank is having to purchase a new freezer to store all that has been donated. This is good news in the short term. In the long-term, if every new mother were made aware of the importance of human milk and the need for donors, would there continue to be shortages and urgent calls for donors?
"BBC News - 'Overwhelming' response to appeal for new mums to donate breast milk: 'Overwhelming' response to appeal for new mums to donate breast milk
28 December 2011 Last updated at 02:01 ET

Anne McCrea said the appeal "had done wonders".

A service that helps premature and seriously ill babies has had an overwhelming response to an appeal for new mums to donate breast milk.

The Human Milk Bank in Irvinestown is used for babies in neo-natal units across Ireland who cannot be fed by their own mothers.

In September stocks had reached a critically low level.

Since highlighting the situation more than a hundred new mums have come forward.

The service is now having to buy an additional freezer to store the milk.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Canadian women join US protest against retailer TARGET

Telephone: 780-938-5208

Canadian women are holding an event at West Edmonton mall tomorrow, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m., in solidarity with hundreds of mothers and children who plan to breastfeed at Target stores all across the US. (See T Magazine coverage Dec. 27).

"Target: Welcome to breastfeeding-friendly Canada" is being held at the mall entrance to the Zellers store.  The US retailer has purchased the lease rights to Zellers stores and plans to open Target stores across Canada, including in West Edmonton Mall.

Target is currently gearing up to hire thousands of staff members and the Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE) is calling on Target to ensure its breastfeeding policy is appropriate for Canada, and to properly train all of its new staff.

There have been a number of high profile incidents in the US, most recently in Houston where a mother was harassed for breastfeeding in the store and then not supported by Target's corporate headquarters despite a written company policy that protects breastfeeding mothers. 

BACE wants Target recognize that Canada and the U.S. are different. In Canada breastfeeding in public is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is specifically protected in some provincial human rights codes. Our federal government encourages women and children to breastfeed "anytime and anywhere."  Breastfeeding initiation and duration rates are longer here, and moms have longer maternity leaves which means Target employees are more likely to encounter breastfeeding moms in their Canadian stores. 

BACE is calling for Target to:

- ensure Target Canada policies support women and children breastfeeding in Target stores "anytime, anywhere."

- properly train staff to leave breastfeeding women and children alone. These moms should not be asked to leave the store, to cover up, or to go to a private place. 

- ensure Target Canada store designs provide for an appropriate, quiet, comfortable place for women who wish to breastfeed in privacy and train staff to direct women to these places, but only if the woman asks. Women should not be directed to a washroom to feed their children.

- where appropriate, Target should support local community efforts to ensure breastfeeding friendly spaces. For example, the Okanagan Breastfeeding Friendly Coalition partners with retailers to ensure stores are breastfeeding friendly. The city of Kitchener has passed a bylaw requiring all facilities run by the city to be breastfeeding friendly. Ottawa's "Food for All" coalition is calling for breastfeeding friendly support. And the Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton, BACE, has declared a go of making the Edmonton Capital Region the most breastfeeding friendly in Canada. Edmonton-area retailers can sign a pledge committing to make their stores breastfeeding friendly.

- 30 - 

We will meet at the mall entrance to Zellers on Level One at 11 a.m. 

US Target nurse-in news release:

Target Corporation responds poorly to recent report of mother breastfeeding infant in Houston, TX                     Target Store. Breastfeeding demonstrations have been scheduled internationally.
Recently a mother was harassed and humiliated for her actions in  breastfeeding her hungry infant in a Houston, TX Target store. When she called Target's Corporate Headquarters, she received another humiliating blow. Target proclaims a long standing practice supporting breastfeeding in their stores. yet have a documented history with being less than helpful to breastfeeding mothers despite a clear corporate policy.

In her frustration, she has organized several nursing demonstrations (coined: "nurse-ins"), which has caught on internationally. A very busy forum exists in which women are organizing their local nurse-ins. and can be found at the following address:        

Mothers are coming together and will be feeding their children Wednesday, December 28 at 10am local time at hundreds of Target locations across the world. We have invited breastfeeding mothers, bottlefeeding mothers, friends and family to support our ability to meet our child's most basic need without ridicule and discrimination. The purpose of the demonstration is to create awareness that breastfeeding is normal, natural and is protected by state law. 

Our local group has organized an event at the following site where you can invite, and 'join' our local nurse-in at: 


If you have any questions or need further information media outlets may contact Jane Aerola by phone or email. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

How safe are infant formulas? - INFACT Canada, 2002

There is considerable attention being given to the death of a week-old baby in Missouri, possibly due to powdered infant formula contamination. INFACT Canada wrote in 2002 about about the similar death of week-old baby in Belgium due to powdered infant formula contaminated with E. sakazakii and subsequent investigations by the FDA and Health Canada. "Of the 49 cases studied, 10 were identified with positive E. sakazakii cultures..." From the article:

“A subsequent investigation to determine the extent of infection with E. sakazakii triggered the FDA warning. The surveillance study found that of 49 cases studied, 10 were identified with positive E. sakazakii cultures. A cohort study was performed to determine the possible risk factors for the infection. Medical records were reviewed to assess risk factors such as gestational age, birth weight, medications, type and mode of feeding. Results of the risk nalysis determined that only the use of Portagen Mead Johnson powdered formula was associated with the E. sakazakii infections. All case patients had received the contaminated powdered formula.

Stating that, “Clinicians should be aware that powdered formulas are not sterile products and might contain opportunistic bacterial pathogens such as those in the family Enterobacteriacae, including E. sakazakii,” the FDA warning notes, “These products are commonly used at many hospitals. A recent survey indicated that of 16 responding facilities, nine used powdered formulas.”

Around the same time a provisional warning to NICUs and other health care professionals was issued by Health Canada. What isn't clear is what the actual risk of illness is from what appears to be routine contamination. We know if powdered infant formula is properly prepared the risk is minimized. How many families who are discharged from hospital with powdered infant formula samples are given proper preparation instructions and the warning "your baby could die if you don't follow these instructions?"

A link to the full article is below:

How safe are infant formulas?: INFACT Canada, Spring 2002 -- The death of a one-week formula fed infant, Natan, born March 11, in Belgium raises important questions about the safety of breastmilk substitutes....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Canada's 2011 top 10 weather stories-are we doing all we can to protect infants?

This is a good reminder for emergency preparedness teams - are we doing all we can to protect vulnerable infants during emergencies and evacuations in the developed world? Many of our most vulnerable infants are living in isolated First Nations communities with questionable water supplies. Even wealthy communities are not well prepared for infant feeding needs during evacuations. Researchers say we need more specific preparation lists for parents of young infants, especially those feeding infant formula, and the amount of fresh clean water needed is often underestimated. See this Human Milk News post from earlier this year: Natural Disasters in Canada - are we doing enough to protect infants?
Top 10 weather stories of 2011: From Manitoba flooding to Goderich's tornado - Canada - CBC News: Top 10 weather stories of 2011: From Manitoba flooding to Goderich's tornado
Environment Canada's top stories range from disastrous floods in Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan to record low Arctic sea ice
CBC News Posted: Dec 22, 2011 10:09 AM ET Last Updated: Dec 22, 2011 10:49 AM ET

Snowstorms, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes — Canada bore the brunt of all these weather systems during 2011, and Environment Canada's Dave Phillips has also included them in the top 10 weather stories of the year...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bloomberg human milk article misses supply side economics

Bloomberg News is reporting on the business of human milk, defining the issue in the narrow terms of the marketplace in its story today, "Moms Selling Breast Milk Online Draw Safety Rebukes From U.S" by Stephanie Armour.

Bloomberg misses a big chunk of even this narrow slice: why is there a sudden strong demand for human milk, appearing to outstrip available supply? And who profits from the scarcity?

The article focuses on calls for regulation as the growing demand for human milk fuels individuals offering it up for sale through, and the emergence of milksharing networks like Human Milk 4 Human Babies.

It's Bloomberg, the business news service, so the perspective on supply and demand, commerce, and human milk as a commodity is to be expected:

"Breast milk is becoming a commodity. With more than $30 million in private funding, Prolacta Bioscience Inc. in Monrovia, California, uses donations to make a human milk fortifier costing as much as $10,000 per hospital stay for a premature infant. Nonprofit U.S. milk banks report they did as much as $9 million in sales last year."

Note though how Bloomberg refers to non-profit milk banks as doing "as much as $9 million in sales..." In fact, North America's network of a dozen woefully underfunded non-profit milk banks under the Human Milk Banking Association of North America umbrella recovered $9M of the cost of processing milk, through a fee. But reporting it this way would distract from the story's main angle - that the commoditization of human milk has resulted in women selling and donating their own milk in an unregulated, or free market.

Where there is a free market, the two sides of human nature come into play: There are non-profit milk banks, and now a company selling human milk products. People are selling human milk on the Internet, others engage in commerce-free milksharing on social media sites.

In a business story, whenever there is a free market, the call to regulate isn't far behind. Bloomberg's story quotes a doctor who says women are "playing Russian roulette." The US Food and Drug Administration's recommendation against the practice of selling or buying or sharing milk on the Internet is featured prominently along with FDA confirmation that it does not have the authority to regulate breast milk sales and donations.

Bloomberg's presumption is that consumers of human milk from any source other than HMBANA milk banks or Prolacta are not taking appropriate precautions. Bloomberg presumes the risk of illness in the ultimate consumer – the baby – from pathogens in human milk, is greater than the risk to the baby of illness from the only other product available to most families, infant formula. Yet available evidence seems to show formula feeding carries greater risk.

Bloomberg briefly quotes HM4HB's Emma Kwasnica who says agencies should develop safe milksharing guidelines and not just issue warnings. Kwasnica has been a strong spokesperson for milksharing and has talked at length to many news organizations about the steps families take to ensure safety. Yet Bloomberg doesn't explore this example of the consumer taking things into her own hands in the absence of a safe, affordable product. Bloomberg reports Kwasnica's objections to safety warnings noting they stem from a patriarchal system that devalues women.

So here we have the lactating mom turned consumer activist portrayed as a radical feminist. Bloomberg retreats quickly to another source with a CEO after his name.

Its closing interviews Bloomberg quotes Prolacta's Scott Estler, saying the company is in fact regulated because its product, a fortifier made from donated human milk and sold at $185/ounce to hospitals, is considered an infant formula, and noting its sales doubled in 2011 over 2010.

And it quotes Pauline Sakamoto of the non-profit HMBANA San Jose Mother's Milk Bank, which has been unable to keep up with the growing demand for donor milk. Sakamoto appears to be calling for action against the informal human milk market, with her comment:

"It's going to take one child to die for someone to do something about this."

It's ironic this call for regulation should come on the same day as a story out of Missouri about a 10-day-old baby who died from infection from a rare bacteria found in powdered infant formula. The FDA has not recalled the product, although the local Walmart did pull it off the shelves. This is not the first illness or death from infant formula, but, unlike other product-caused consumer deaths the story doesn't appear to have legs, at least not in the business press.

Leaving the consumer death angle aside, no business story is complete without a marketing angle, yet Bloomberg misses it.

Here we have strong demand for human milk driven in part by marketing efforts of Prolacta to sell its product. Prolacta has funded research showing what many experts have long suspected - human milk lowers the risk of death in premature babies. NICUs go to great lengths to encourage mothers to express their own milk for preemies, and HMBANA milk banks are seeing more and more demand for their donor milk from NICUs. The smallest of preemies can't get the nutrients they need from human milk alone and the practice is to fortify human milk with additional nutrients. Until Prolacta came along, researchers, governments, and underfunded HMBANA milk banks were unable to provide NICUs with a human-milk derived fortifier, and so NICUs used, and many still use fortifier made from cow's milk.

The cow's milk-based fortifier does improve growth but it also increases the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which costs hundreds of thousands per patient to treat and is a leading cause of death in premature babies. (Yes, that would be a product-caused consumer death.) The $10,000 cost per consumer of providing Prolacta's product as cited above is small change compared to the cost of treating one case of often-fatal NEC.

And here is where the law of supply and demand comes in. Once NICUs, with industry funded research designed to market a product in hand, were able to prove the benefits of human milk for preemies, demand for donor milk from HMBANA milk banks soared, leaving the milk banks with less milk for moms in need in the community.

Bloomberg doesn't explore the supply side of the argument - why do so many babies, outside of the NICU, need donor milk? Kwasnica has argued famously that human milk is not a scarce commodity, and blogger Annie Urban has written about this over on PhDinParenting where she points out:

"formula company profits depend on breastmilk being scarce."

Sales of infant formula in the US are around 3 billion dollars per year, dwarfing the $30 million in private investment for Prolacta and the $9 million in human milk "sales" by HMBANA last year. 

Health care experts, after years and years of watching infant formula companies tell their target market that "breast is best," leaving consumers with the comforting knowledge that when breastfeeding efforts fail, infant formula is perfectly fine, started changing their language. They stopped talking about the benefits of breastfeeding. They started referring to breastfeeding as normal physiological way to feed a human infant, and they started talking about the risks of infant formula. 

Once you move from saying "if you breastfeed, your baby will be healthier" to "if you feed infant formula, your baby will be sicker," women think about infant formula in a new way – as something that could harm their baby. The heyday for infant formula market share was the 1950s. Even at a time when women were mainly at home raising their babies, breastfeeding rates dropped as low as 10 per cent in some areas in the face of strong marketing. In theory almost all women who give birth can make enough milk to feed their babies, and a great number of them can produce more than enough milk. Only 2-5 per cent of women can't physiologically make enough milk to feed a baby. But in practice many things – from health problems to breast surgery to misguided interventions to short maternity leaves – interfere with a new mother's milk production. Some women don't want to breastfeed. But the vast majority of women who are not breastfeeding don't choose to stop. They lack the support to continue.

The sabotaging of the supply line – both inadvertent and deliberate – is unmentioned in the Bloomberg article, but it's the reason why there is a perceived shortage of human milk.

And it represents a failure of health care professionals, hospitals, families, employers, and reporters and the mainstream news media.

Where there is scarcity in the market, prices will be driven up, and consumers will seek out alternatives. Mothers will do what they think is best for their babies, and there's no turning back the clock – health professionals cannot stop talking about the risks of infant formula. They cannot honestly say infant formula is fine, and there's little if no evidence right now that the risk of milksharing is higher than the risk of feeding infant formula. Women will seek out human milk for their babies long as there is a need.

But Bloomberg isn't in the business of delivering news about solving problems that erase the opportunity for profit, so it's not going to explore alternatives to regulating the marketplace.

Governments and health authorities - you have a problem! Breastfeeding is broken. Most mothers under your authority are not able to meet their own breastfeeding goals, let alone the goals you set for them. Mothers in much of the developed world are not meeting your bare minimum recommendation to breastfeed exclusively for six months. You want to fix the problem? Create proper supports for breastfeeding women and fund them properly. Introduce guidelines designed to reduce the risk of milksharing for those who still need it. Fund milk banks. Fund research.

Once the supply problem is fixed, the market for the sale of alternatives to breastfeeding will dry up.

And Bloomberg will see no news value in covering the story of a human milk commodity shortage. Instead it will be covering the scramble by infant formula companies to diversify their product line.

This article is by Jodine Chase, who is a professional news analyst. Jodine is a long-time breastfeeding advocate who, as a volunteer, has worked for years to reestablish human milk banks in Canada. She volunteered some of her time earlier this year to Human Milk 4 Human Babies.

Update, Dec 22, 2011 - is running a shortened version of this story on its website today with this headline: FDA cautions against using secondhand milk. Really? "Secondhand" milk?

Update Nov 2, 2012 - Updated to replace link to original story - SF.Gate has taken it down, but it was syndicated and is still up elsewhere.

Death of MO baby linked to rare bacteria sometimes found in commercial formula

Enfamil powdered infant formula, purchased at a local Walmart in Missouri, is being tested after this baby died from a rare bacterial infection. There is no recall but Walmart voluntarily pulled Enfamil products from its shelves in the town.
Death of baby from Lebanon is linked to rare bacteria sometimes found in commercial formula - KY3: Death of baby from Lebanon is linked to rare bacteria sometimes found in commercial formula
The baby was only 10 days old when it died on Sunday.
December 19, 2011|by Emily Wood, KY3 News |

LEBANON, Mo. – In the midst of the holiday season, one family here is dealing with heartbreak. Their infant son died Sundy night after contracting an extremely rare bacterial disease. Now federal researchers are testing the formula eaten by the baby as his family searches for answers....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Breastfeeding saved babies in 19th century Montreal

McGill and Concordia research points to the influence of cultural infant feeding practices such as how long to breastfeed, what food supplements to introduce, on the health of infants, mothers, and families in Montreal in the 19th century.
"Even though most French and Irish Catholics lived in similar working class conditions, the positive effects of later marriage and longer breastfeeding among Irish Catholics protected their infants and children, while French Canadians' infants were negatively impacted by early weaning."

Breastfeeding saved babies in 19th century Montreal: Breastfeeding saved babies in 19th century Montreal
December 20, 2011
Breastfeeding increased infant survival rates in 19th -Century Montreal in two major ways, according to research from Concordia University and McGill University. Mother's milk protected vulnerable infants from food and water contaminated by fecal bacteria, while breastfeeding postponed the arrival of more siblings and that improved the health of mothers as well as their subsequent children....

Look who's advertising on Facebook... Nestlé.ca

This Nestlé ad offering me up to $100 in FREE mommy perks is popping up regularly on my Facebook home page. The program is nothing new - we see these on Google all the time. It would be interesting to make an app that let you record some sort of negative click on Nestle ads, and the click would be recorded and a note automatically sent to Nestlé. Maybe it could offer up one of several sentences for the user to choose like "Hey Nestlé, I won't be buying your chocolates this Christmas" or "Nestlé, your marketing practices harm babies!" A cumulative total of negative Nestlé hits could be captured on a website somewhere. If only I were a programmer...

An Experiment Comparing Cow's Milk to Human Milk

One woman's description of her blind taste-test comparing human to cow's milk.

"An Experiment Comparing Cow's Milk to Human Milk:

...She asked me to taste the breast milk first. It was light and pleasantly sweet, and had both vanilla and almond hits. The almond-like flavor made me think it was some new kind of almond milk. If so, I planned to buy some on my way home. Both the complex flavor and the light creaminess I felt on my tongue were very pleasing. I hoped it wasn't too packed with calories, because I knew that I would drink this milk regularly...."

Monday, December 19, 2011

one-of-those-women: The Last Taboo

Lovely art and photos on this blog post!

"one-of-those-women: The Last Taboo

The last taboo... not nursing somone else's baby..."

Mothers' experiences sharing breastfeeding or breastmilk, Part 2: early 21st century | Thorley | Nursing Reports

From a new Open Access online, peer-reviewed journal, Nursing Reports. This lovely research study explores the experiences of 23 women involved in milksharing. (Note, there is a detailed description of the Dutch milksharing group I blogged about earlier today. I love synchronicity!)

Mothers' experiences sharing breastfeeding or breastmilk, Part 2: early 21st century | Thorley | Nursing Reports: Mothers' experiences sharing breastfeeding or breastmilk, Part 2: early 21st century
Virginia Thorley
DOI: 10.4081/232 | Published: 2011-12-13 17:25:21 | Views: 108

Next Question: is borstvoeding van vreemden even goed? � Nieuwsblog

Dutch milksharing site.

Next Question: is borstvoeding van vreemden even goed?: Next Question: is borstvoeding van vreemden even goed?
Is het logisch om eerder te kiezen voor melk van een koe dan een andere mama?

Medela on the importance of human milk in NICUs - announces six award recipients

Medela president Carolin Archibald on the importance of human milk in NICUs and the need to ensure mothers and able to express breastmilk (the smallest NICU babies cannot feed at the breast.) Medela has awarded six hospitals with $5,000 each in product.

"Medela Announces 2011 Virtual Human Milk Collection Campaign Award Recipients

“Our goals for this campaign are to help raise awareness of the importance of human milk and support mothers and healthcare professionals to successfully provide breastmilk to babies in the NICU who need it most,” said Carolin Archibald, president of Medela. “The value of breastmilk is immeasurable for the health benefits it provides infants in the NICU. Breastmilk is nature’s medicine, protecting premature babies from serious complications and infections during and after their hospital stay.”"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Prolacta Bioscience confirms its human milk fortifier price is $6.25/ml

In response to a recent query on twitter from IBCLC Amber McCann, Prolacta has confirmed its pricing for its human milk-derived fortifier. 

Study finds smoking lowers lipid and protein in human milk

Breastfeeding Medicine
Effects of Smoking, Mother's Age, Body Mass Index, and Parity Number on Lipid, Protein, and Secretory Immunoglobulin A Concentrations of Human Milk

...Conclusion: Our study showed that smoking was associated with lower milk lipid and protein concentrations and that the parity number and BMI were associated with a change in milk lipids and proteins content, respectively."

Example of human milk for sale on the Internet

Here is an example of someone selling breastmilk and noting she has was screened to donate to a milk bank with a previous baby. She is selling the milk for $2.00/ounce.

Donate Buy and Sell Buy Breast Milk The Only Classified Listing Service for Moms Buying, Selling or Donating Breast Milk - Calling all hungry babies! Bank certified milk! - Texas - Houston - USA - Bank Certified : Breast Milk Classifieds Buy Sell or Donate Breast Milk: Calling all hungry babies! Bank certified milk!

Contact Information
Contact Jackie S
Location : Houston, Texas, USA
$ 2.00
More Information
I am a healthy GYM goer/YOGA instructor/university graduate with a surplus of breastmilk. My baby is 5 months old. I also have a two year old and a four year old.

I have over 200 oz in my deep freeze with more daily.

With my second baby I donated nearly 2,000 oz to the milk bank. I was screened and cleared to donate.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Prolacta/IBMP offer $300 pump credit instead of breast pump to donors

The International Breast Milk Project, which collects breast milk donations for South African infants through a partnership with Prolacta (a partnership that sees 3/4 of the donor milk used in a product sold by Prolacta, and the rest processed and sent to South African milk banks) is drawing attention to a new Prolacta program. Prolacta is offering a $300 reimbursement for donors for the cost of their breast pump. Moms need to have donated 300 ounces in the last few months, or commit to donating that amount by the end of December 2011.

Why are they doing this?

"We truly appreciate the commitment our mothers make in donating their extra breast milk. Our policy has been to cover any costs associated with milk donation, including testing, breast milk storage bags, and shipping. In the past we have supplied a breast pump. However, we learned that many of our moms already had a breast pump. We are excited to offer our moms who donate a minimum of 300 qualified ounces, the opportunity for their pump to be reimbursed." - Q&A on Prolacta's pump reimbursement program

As noted above Prolacta "in the past" provided breast pumps. Prolacta was founded by Elena Medo, who was also the founder and CEO of White River Concepts which created and manufactured a breastpump, the White River Pump. Medo is no longer with Prolacta and now is an owner at North American Instruments, a company selling medical instruments including the Calais Human Milk Analyzer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cheap Similac Human Milk?

Facebook CyberMondayOffer - note title, "Cheap Similac Human Milk"
Apparently in the US you can purchase your own "human" milk fortifier - who knew? I thought it was only given out in hospitals to very low birth weight preemies. Here we see it marketed on a Facebook page called "CyberMondayOffer" as "Cheap Similac Human Milk."

It's time to stop calling this product "human milk fortifier." I can't tell you how many people I have encountered who think that it is made from human milk.

Let's figure out an appropriate name and petition our relevant government entities for truth in packaging and labelling. What should it be called?

-- Jodine

Milk Banks: more local partnerships like this, please!

This is a great way to buy local and support your local milk bank at the same time. These kinds of partnerships build support in the local community, raise awareness, and of course funds. More please!
Support Northwest Mothers Milk Bank with gift of Zenana Spa

Posted: December 12, 2011, 09:34 PM

During the month of December, Zenana Spa and Wellness Center is donating 3 percent of all gift card and boutique sales to Northwest Mothers Milk Bank (NWMMB), and on December 15, is boosting that to 10 percent. NWMMB is a non-profit organization that has received donated office and lab space by Providence Health & Services, but is still working to raise the funds needed to purchase equipment and therefore open.

Call for US moms to donate human milk to South Africa while US babies go short

US moms called on to donate for next shipment to South Africa.... let's see here.... we've got a shortage of donors for non-profit milk banks in the US and yet for-profit Prolacta is teaming up with a non-profit group and calling for more US moms to donate milk to South Africa? How many years has IBMP being doing this and why aren't there self-sustaining milk banks in South Africa? Prolacta benefits from the milk it keeps in exchange for processing the donor milk for IBMP - it turns that milk into a product it sells. Quick International Courier benefits - this is an excellent way for it to showcase its ability to provide cold chain courier services to the health care industry.

International Breast Milk Project donates bottled breast milk

IBMP, Prolacta and Quick Intl. join to help AIDS-stricken babies in South Africa; organization calls on U.S. mothers to donate milk for next shipment

The U.S.-based International Breast Milk Project (IBMP), Prolacta Bioscience, and Quick International Courier cooperated in a joint humanitarian effort that delivered 10,000 oz (2,500 bottles) of donor breast milk to be utilized by premature, sick, and orphaned infants in Cape Town and Durban, South Africa....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Prematurity Clinical Trial: Human Milk Cream as a Caloric Supplement in Pre-Term Infants [Conditions: Prematurity; Interventions: Human Milk Cream]

This Baylor College trial is in collaboration with Prolacta. It will compare outcomes of premature infants fed human milk from a mother or donor which will be tested and if short, brought up to 20 calories per ounce using human cream as an additive, vs the current practice in some NICUs of using human milk fortified with human milk-based fortifier (Prolacta's product) with no specific analysis of each milk feed. It is based on this premise:
"However, studies show that up to 65% of human milk may be less than the expected 20 kcal/oz which can greatly affect an infant's growth."
Prematurity Clinical Trial: Human Milk Cream as a Caloric Supplement in Pre-Term Infants [Conditions: Prematurity; Interventions: Human Milk Cream]: Arms, Groups and Cohorts in this Clinical Trial

Experimental:Human Milk Cream Group
For infants randomized to the human milk cream group, the human milk (either mother's own or donor) being provided to the infant will be tested each time a new container is used to prepare feedings. The test will be for the caloric content of the milk using a commercially available device provided for this purpose. If the caloric level falls below 20 kcal/oz for any test, then an appropriate amount of human milk cream will be added to the milk to bring the content as close as possible to 20 kcal/oz. The amount added will be calculated to the nearest mL rounding down for 0.1-0.4mL and up for 0.5-0.9 mL to avoid imprecision due to the measuring device used in the nutrition preparation area.
No Intervention: Control Group
For infants randomized to the Control group, human milk and human milk derived fortifier will be provided according to the institutional standard of care and there will be no use of the milk analysis (mother's own or donor), which is typical for the vast majority of neonatal intensive care units.

UK Charity raises funds for human milk motorcycle couriers

A Chesterfield charity, "Derbyshire Blood Bikes" is raising money to offer a free off-hours service to hospitals by delivering blood, platelets, plasma, and human milk. They'd pick up expressed donor milk from nursing mothers and deliver it to the milk bank at Birmingham. They will also delivery processed milk from the bank to NICU units hosting premature babies as far away as Newcastle.
The Chesterfield Post - Hospital and Medical News from Chesterfield: The charity is hoping to further help the local hospitals by collecting baby milk from nursing mothers and deliver to the milk bank at Birmingham and then deliver at their request to maternity units for premature babies.

This service may mean delivering to Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield as well as in relay with other blood bike volunteers in the country, but premature babies are sometimes placed where the nearest available incubator is and Derbyshire babies can be transferred as far away as Newcastle.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Kudos to USBC for their strong statement against the marketing of human milk substitutes

The US Breastfeeding Committee has issued a strong statement on the marketing of human milk substitutes and the harm the practice creates. It's on their website below, (unfortunately as a link to a PDF instead of being directly on the website in HTML - which makes it harder to share.)
Welcome to the United States Breastfeeding Committee: News
PUBLICATION: Statement on Marketing of Human
Milk Substitutes

Texas Children's wants preemies supplemented after discharge

This item on the Texas Children's Hospital blog by Dr. Steve Abrams, neonatologist, is an explanation to parents of the practice of feeding very-low-birth-weight babies in NICUs supplements to human milk, made either from human milk or cows milk. However Dr. Abrams is not just talking about in-NICU supplementing - he recommends routine supplementation post-discharge for these babies. The purpose of this blog post is to explain to parents that breastfeeding is important and they shouldn't switch entirely to infant formula assuming supplementing is a sign of breastfeeding failure.

Texas Children's recently switched to an exclusive arrangement with Prolacta for its human milk products.

Pediatric Health Blog, Texas Children's Hospital - Breastfeeding Of High-Risk Infants After Discharge From The NICU: A Nutritional Perspective | Medicine | Milestones | Miracles: December 6, 2011 Dr. Steven Abrams, Neonatologist
Breastfeeding Of High-Risk Infants After Discharge From The NICU: A Nutritional Perspective

Demand increasing for human milk, donors needed

Another news item on human milk shortage across the US - this one identifies the cause as supply not keeping up with increased demand.
WakeMed Milk Bank Needs Donations | WakeMed Voices: WakeMed Milk Bank Needs Donations
Posted December 2, 2011 � 11:59 am.Susan Evans

WakeMed Mother's Milk Bank
The value of breast milk and breastfeeding is finally being realized in the United States.� But, there are some moms who are unable to produce milk of their own for their infants.� Many times these infants are preemies who really need breast milk to grow and thrive.

The lack of donations and increased need is not isolated to North Carolina. Human milk banks across the country are experiencing similar trend as more and more hospitals and mothers learn about the benefits of breast milk.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Amsterdam Milk Bank chosen over HM4HB due to screening concerns

News item on Radio Netherlands interviews woman who wanted to donate breastmilk and chose a new milk bank at the Amsterdam VU University over Human Milk 4 Human Babies, because, says the reporter, she was "suspicious (of HM4HB) because the donors aren't medically screened." The photo with the item is supplied by VU Medical Centre. The reporter didn't interview anyone from HM4HB but interviewed the mom, someone from UNICEF, and a milk bank researcher who says "we know that breastmilk is good for premature babies, but donor milk is pasteurised and frozen. We want to investigate whether it still has advantages over infant formula milk." The mom no longer donates - her baby is eight months old and she continues to breastfeed but she's gone back to work and doesn't have time to express extra milk.

Breast milk: a matter of supply and demand | Radio Netherlands Worldwide: Breast milk: a matter of supply and demand
Published on : 7 December 2011 - 3:05pm | By Belinda van Steijn (Photo: VU Medical Centre)
More about: breast feeding Children's rights Dutch medical research
“I’m looking for breast milk for my baby because my own is dropping off now I’ve gone back to work.” It’s one of many similar messages on Facebook. There’s a lively trade in breast milk on the internet. Breast milk networks, milk banks and individuals are working hard to match up supply and demand...

Arizona-based Eats on Feets reports dozens of attempts to access #humanmilk from fetishists

Arizona's Eats on Feets milksharing organization reports they keep a list of 100 users they've blocked because they suspect men, breast-milk fetishists, are behind the requests.
As demand for breast milk grows, so does number of male buyers - CBS 5 - KPHO: As demand for breast milk grows, so does number of male buyers

Updated: Dec 02, 2011 9:20 PM MST
By Lindsey Reiser
With cold and flu season in full swing, a certain something only a mother can give is in high demand. It's not a little TLC - it's breast milk. But local organizations that help meet this demand have to filter out requests that may have more nefarious purposes...

Denver Mothers' Milk Bank, Prolacta vie for Utah #humanmilk donations

Further coverage of Prolacta's move into Utah to obtain milk for its human milk fortifier product, at the expense of donations to the non-profit Denver Mothers' Milk Bank, says director Laraine Lockhart Borman.
Competition for breast milk stirs up concerns
Scripps Howard News Service

Salt Lake Tribune


A California company is eyeing Utah for its abundance of notoriously health-conscious, breast-feeding moms....

IBMP/Prolacta donate 10,000 ounces to SA - when will SA milk banks be self-sufficient?

So, how is that project going, the one that will help South Africa's human milk banks be self-sufficient. South African Milk for South African Babies....
International Breast Milk Project Donates 2,500 Bottles of Breast Milk to AIDS-stricken... -- NEW YORK, Dec. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --: International Breast Milk Project Donates 2,500 Bottles of Breast Milk to AIDS-stricken Babies in South Africa

Organization calls on US mothers to donate milk for next shipment
NEW YORK, Dec. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- [MEDIAGLOBAL NEWS] The US-based International Breast Milk Project (IBMP), Prolacta Bioscience and Quick International Courier in a joint humanitarian effort delivered 10,000 ounces (2,500 bottles) of donor breast milk to be utilized by premature, sick and orphaned infants in Cape Town and Durban, South Africa....

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Iberoamerican Network of Human-Milk Banks | Changemakers

Brazil-led network of human milk banks across South America, Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia. Map here.

Iberoamerican Network of Human-Milk Banks | Changemakers: Iberoamerican Network of Human-Milk Banks
by Joao Aprigio Guerra de Almeida | Jan 25, 2010

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
Nutricao de qualidade: solucoes inovadoras competition.
Cooperation program in Iberoamerican region, oriented to knowledge and technology exchange in breasting feeding and Human-Milk Banking – HMB, as strategic components to reach the Millennium Development Goals especially regarding child mortality.
Brazil as head Office, covering the others 22 countries in the iberoamerican region, Cape Verde and Mozambique...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Breast Milk on Craigslist?

This news item explores milk sales and milk sharing via the Internet and concerns about safety. It quotes the San Jose milk bank director who says mothers may not be getting enough information from a six-month-old blood test. Prolacta partner Milkin' Mamas is also quoted about testing and safety. There is broad agreement that more awareness of the need for milk donors is needed.
"Breast Milk on Craigslist? Mission Viejo Moms Selling Milk for Profit - Mission Viejo, CA Patch: Breast Milk on Craigslist? Mission Viejo Moms Selling Milk for Profit
Milk banks charge $3-$5 for real mother's milk, and some moms are cutting out the middle man. But is it safe?..."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Women encouraged to breastfeed babies in South Africa this World AIDS Day

This World AIDS Day in South Africa, women are being encouraged to breastfeed their babies. Exclusive breastfeeding to six months combined with antiretroviral medication during pregnancy, delivery and through the breastfeeding period cuts HIV infections in infants by 42 per cent.
Breast feeding can prolong infants’ lives | The New Age Online: Breast feeding can prolong infants’ lives

Ina Skosana

As nature intended – however hackneyed, this phrase rings true when applied to things like getting your recommended daily allowance of vitamins, losing weight and breast feeding.

For those who have not had the pleasure of bringing a life into the world this may seem like a no-brainer. But for new moms, it’s not that simple, especially if they are HIV positive.

With millions of new mothers caught in the grip of the HIV-Aids epidemic and 26000 babies infected through breast milk in 2008, concerns about mother to child transmission are valid. Statistics show that KwaZulu-Natal has the highest number of HIV positive women attending antenatal clinics, representing almost 40% of the national figure.

For this World Aids Day women are encouraged to breast feed their babies.

A recently released Kesho Bora study shows that “giving mothers a combination of ARVs (antiretroviral medication) during pregnancy, delivery and breast feeding, cuts HIV infections in infants by 42%”. The study, led by the WHO’s department of reproductive health, indicates that this is possible if the treatment is given during the late stages of pregnancy until six months into breast feeding....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ultrasonic homogenization more efficient in retaining fat in frozen human milk

Ultrasonic homogenization more efficient than hand-stirring in retaining fat, caloric content of human milk after freezing for 3 months.
Breastfeeding Medicine - 0(0):
: Effect of Freezing Time on Macronutrients and Energy Content of Breastmilk

To cite this article:
Nadia Raquel Garcia-Lara, Diana Escuder-Vieco, Oscar Garcia-Algar, Javier De la Cruz, David Lora, and Carmen Pallas-Alonso. Breastfeeding Medicine. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/bfm.2011.0079.

Donkey milk instead of cow's milk for human babies?

Donkey milk instead of cow's milk? Why not human milk for human babies??!!
Nutritional evaluation of a new human milk fortifier, obtained from donkey milk, in feeding of preterm very low birth weight infants : Naturejobs: Nutritional evaluation of a new human milk fortifier, obtained from donkey milk, in feeding of preterm very low birth weight infants
Universita' degli Studi di Torino

Requisition number:
Science jobs from Universita' degli Studi di Torino: job description

Aim of the project is the evaluation of a human milk fortifier obtained from donkey milk in preterm infants nutrition and its comparison with fortifiers obtained from cow milk (currently available fortifiers). A prospective randomized trial will be performed on sixty preterm infants with birthweight <32 weeks, maternal or donor human milk fed. The enrolled infants will be randomized in two groups according to the type of fortifier used. ...

Gates funds ASU research to grow plants carrying human milk components

Or... we could just feed babies their mother's milk...

ASU receives Grand Challenges Explorations funding | ASU News: Projects that are receiving funding show promise in tackling priority global health issues where solutions do not yet exist. Chen’s research is aimed at improving infant health in developing countries by creating an alternative human milk protein delivery system in edible plants that is sustainable, readily accessible and available and cost effective. Chen is producing a cocktail of human milk proteins that will be engineered into the protein bodies of common plants such as lettuce or rice that can be consumed directly or formulated into baby food.

LLL founders didn't intend to found an international org

Great feature on Marian Tomson, co-founder of La Leche League. The reporter notes, "Tompson told me that the original seven founders initially had no ambitions to start an international organization."

Promoting the health benefits of mother's milk before it was popular - When Marian Tompson had her first three babies in the 1950s, she wanted to breast-feed each, but she had complications. Her first child spit up too much. With the other two, she worried that she wasn't producing enough milk.

Three separate pediatricians discouraged her from breast-feeding for longer than six months and told her to switch to formula.

But with her fourth child, Tompson nursed more freely. She and her husband found a family doctor who supported breast-feeding and whose wife, Mary White, had breast-fed their children. White had given birth in her Franklin Park home and was adamant about bucking the bottle-feeding trend of the day.

Medela course: Improving NICU Outcomes with Human Milk Evidence for Improving Practice - Medela

Medela offers courses like the one below, which provides these credits for health care professionals:
  • Dietitian - 4.0 CPE Credits
  • Nursing - 4.0 Contact Hours
  • ACNM - 0.4 CEUs

Improving NICU Outcomes with Human Milk Evidence for Improving Practice - Medela: Improving NICU Outcomes with Human Milk
Evidence for Improving Practice
Symphony Preemie ™ Select Education Package
View Upcoming Programs
It is proven that human milk helps infants to grow and overcome serious morbidities.

Medela is committed to supporting, promoting and providing the latest breastfeeding research through comprehensive education. Our goal is to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration which research clearly demonstrates will improve outcomes. Medela has partnered with Paula Meier, RN, DNSc, FAAN, to develop education programs that focus on the latest research and evidence using research based technology. This half day program is comprised of three talks detailing the scientific evidence for the use of human milk for vulnerable infants and mechanisms to ensure its delivery.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Surplus breast milk on offer via HM4HB in New Zealand

Feature on HM4HB network in New Zealand; notes the country is without formal milk banks.
Surplus breast milk on offer: Surplus breast milk on offer

November 24, 2011

Just because you can’t breast feed your baby, doesn’t mean your baby can’t have breast milk, an Ashburton mother says.

The new mum, who wants to be known as just Kirsty, has a three week old baby and has been storing surplus breast milk as part of the Human Milk 4 Human Babies network.

About the SPIN Program: Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition at UC San Diego Health System

The UC San Diego Health System is to be applauded for placing its materials for health professional and parents used to support premature infant nutrition. Everything from NICU staff resources such as feeding tables, lactation support letters, donor milk consent forms, to resources used to support parents, are available for modification and use by other facilities.

About the SPIN Program: Supporting Premature Infant Nutrition at UC San Diego Health System: About the SPIN Program

Our Mission
To create a Center of Excellence in neonatal nutrition focused on the provision, analysis, and research of human milk to improve nutritional and neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm babies
Our Resources
We provide resources to both parents and NICU staff, available for downloading and printing from this website. Other hospitals are welcome to use or adapt these materials.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Milk Bank and Milk Donation: Three mamas share their stories

This blogger is featuring thee stories about women who have donated milk, through milk banks or privately. We've seen a huge increase in milksharing and milk donation stories in the last year or two.

Milk Bank and Milk Donation: Three mamas share their stories
Earthmama Angel Blog, November 21, 2011

Milk bank donor also donated privately, says it was safe

This article features a mom who donated to the developing milk bank in Oregon, and who also donated privately to a mother with a baby born at term who wasn't eligible for milk from the mil bank. The mom notes it was safe because she was already tested and approved as a donor by the milk bank.
Northwest Mothers Milk Bank Halfway to its Fundraising Goal | The Lund Report: Northwest Mothers Milk Bank Halfway to its Fundraising Goal

The group needs to purchase lab equipment before it can start processing donations locally
By: Christen McCurdy
November 22, 2011 -- The Northwest Mothers Milk Bank is halfway toward its fundraising goal of $400,000 – the amount the organization needs to open a physical location to process donations.

The bump is thanks to a $125,000 donation from Oregon Health Insurers Partnering for Prevention (OHIPP), a group of health insurers convened by the Oregon Public Health Institute....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stored breast milk in critically short supply at B.C. women's bank

Canada's HMBANA milk bank in Vancouver has joined its US counterparts in a call for breast milk donations, citing a critical shortage due to increased demand.

Stored breast milk in critically short supply at B.C. woPublish Postmen's bank:
Vancouver Sun, Nov 16, 2011
...The supply of frozen breast milk at B.C. Women's Milk Bank is running low, with only 60 bottles available to help feed premature and sick babies, instead of the 400 or more bottles the facility would normally have stock-piled at this time of year.

"In November, to be this low is unusual. It's lower than in previous years," said Frances Jones, program coordinator for Lactation Services and the Milk Bank at B.C. Women's Health Centre.

"We tend to have a crisis around Christmas and summer, when every-one is busy or away. [Right now it] is mainly because the demand is going up, with a greater awareness of the benefit of breast milk and the donor program."

The number of donors has been increasing over the years, she added, "but it's still not enough." Last year 165 donors were screened for donations, compared to 135 the previous year. She said donors are asked to provide a minimum of 100 ounces of breast milk.

Look who has jumped on the breastmilk shortage bandwagon...

One of for-profit Prolacta's collection sites for breastmilk for their NICU fortifier product has positioned itself to take advantage of the not-for-profit donor milk bank association HMBANA's call for donations.

The messaging isn't quite the same - they don't say demand is up, they say donors are down. They point to milksharing as a possible reason. Note, however, Prolacta doesn't believe human milk is a scarce resource. They believe the problem is a lack of awareness and note women dump unused milk "down the drain" This messaging echoes a quote often used by Human Milk 4 Human Babies founder Emma Kwasnica, who says milk is not a scare commodity and points to women having to dump freezers full down the drain.
Supplies Down, Demand Up For Donated Breast Milk - Supplies Down, Demand Up For Donated Breast Milk
Share |

...Donated breast milk for premature babies is running low in Sacramento.

By Steve Milne

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Ruth Cummings is with The Birth Center Milk Bank in Sacramento.

"For the last three or four months our donation rate has been down."

The non-profit collects donated breast milk for Prolacta, a product sold for-profit and prescribed to high-risk babies to help fight against infection....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Medela one of the funders in stem-cell/breastmilk research

How do you expand your market if you are a breast-pump company? One way would be to fund research that sees human milk used as medicine for people who aren't babies. A University of Western Australia researcher has identified human milk as a source of stem cells and this Medela news release asks "could this finally be the answer to ethically and easily obtaining pluripotent stem cells in a non-invasive manner?" There needs to be acknowledgement of the ethical considerations of using human milk as a source for stem cells.

Stem Cells in Breastmilk -- BAAR, Switzerland, Nov. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -
The theory developed in 2007 by scientists at the University of Western Australia (UWA) that breastmilk contains stem cells has been taken to a higher level with the latest discovery by one of the team's newer members. UWA Ph.D. candidate Foteini Hassiotou has proven that stem cells from breastmilk can now be directed to become other body cell types such as bone, fat, liver and brain cells. Could this finally be the answer to ethically and easily obtaining pluripotent stem cells in a non-invasive manner? And what does this mean with regard to the unique power of breastmilk for the growth and development of babies?
Stem Cells in Breastmilk – Theory Becomes Reality

Following Hassiotou's recent win of the 2011 AusBiotech-GSK Student Excellence Award for her research into breastmilk stem cells (Oct.17, 2011), Medela is proud to announce Hassiotou's first presentation of her findings of stem cells in breastmilk inEurope early next year. She will share her findings during Medela's 7th International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium to be held in Vienna, Austria from April 20-21, 2012.

This discovery by Hassiotou, who is part of the Human Lactation Research Group under the direction of Professor Peter Hartmann at the University of Western Australia, may well be the answer to ethically and easily obtaining stem cells in a non-invasive manner. The value in harvesting stem cells from breastmilk lies in their incredible potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. They have the ability to act as a type of "internal repair system." With both types of stem cells (embryonic and adult), however, well-documented hurdles exist both from an ethical as well as from a practical harvesting perspective.

Medela has been working with the Hartmann Human Lactation Research Group since the mid-1990s resulting in numerous scientific breakthroughs including overturning a 160-year old anatomical model of the lactating human breast, and a unique insight into the sucking, swallowing and breathing mechanism that babies must master to feed properly. The Group has been working on the subject of stem cells for over five years.

Now that's transparency! Milk donated by moms = "starting material for the products Prolacta sells"

No hiding from how they intend to profit in this job description for a "milk bank coordinator." Donor milk is referred to as "starting material for the products Prolacta sells."

Milk Bank Coordinator - Monrovia, CA - Prolacta Bioscience | StartUpHire /job/milk-bank-coordinator-monrovia-ca-prolacta-bioscience-152349: Prolacta is the pioneer in human milk-based nutritional products for premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Prolacta believes that there is no adequate replacement for human breast milk and, as such, we believe infant nutritional products should be human milk-based. As a privately held, scientifically driven company, committed to improving premature infant nutrition, we are using human milk to change the standard of care in the NICU. Prolacta operates and/or owns milk banks that provide the starting material for the products Prolacta sells.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stem cells in breast milk? Trading one ethical dilemma for another

Well, I'd say if they really are the embryonic-like cells, it'll just be trading one ethical dilemma for another. One reason why the Special Report: "Contemporary Ethical Issues in Human Milk Banking in the United States" is so timely!
Breast-milk stem cells may bypass ethical dilemmas - health - 14 November 2011 - New Scientist: Breast-milk stem cells may bypass ethical dilemmas

14:30 14 November 2011 by Linda Geddes
For similar stories, visit the Stem Cells Topic Guide
Embryonic-like stem cells have been isolated from breast milk in large numbers. The discovery raises the possibility of sourcing stem cells for regenerative medicine, without the need to destroy embryos.

Peter Hartmann at the University of Western Australia in Crawley and his colleagues first announced the discovery of stem cells in breast milk in 2008. Now they have grown them in the lab and shown that they can turn into cells representative of all three embryonic germ layers, called the endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm – a defining property of embryonic stem cells (ESC).

Researchers: time for best practices for solicitation & use of human milk

Just up - both the abstract and the full publication are available in the current online issue of American Academy of Pediatrics Journal. The authors conclude it is time to consider "best practices for the solicitation and distribution" of human milk.

Contemporary Ethical Issues in Human Milk-Banking in the United States
  1. Donna J. Miracle, PhD, MSN, RNa,b,c,
  2. Kinga A. Szucs, MD, IBCLCd,e,f,g,h,i,
  3. Alexia M. Torke, MD, MSc,e,j,k,l,
  4. Paul R. Helft, MDc,e,m,n

Abstract: Donor human milk has been used in the United States for >90 years, but recent advances in human milk science and laboratory techniques have led to increasing use of this resource. Pediatricians began using donor human milk in the 1900s in response to anecdotal observation that premature infants had better health outcomes when receiving their own mothers' milk. Since then, a formalized human milk-banking system developed in the mid-1980s and distributed >1 million ounces of pasteurized donor human milk in 2008. Despite growth in the use of pasteurized donor human milk, there is little discussion in the medical literature regarding the ethical considerations of collection and use of this resource. Key ethical considerations include issues surrounding medical decision-making and informed consent, increasing the limited supply of human milk, how ethically to allocate this scarce resource, and concerns linked to the marketing of a human milk.