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The Safety of Breast Milk Sharing in Louisiana

See the health risks and benefits of breast milk sharing in Louisiana through on online community called "Eats on Feets".

Monroe-- Rickey and Tiffany Deranger plan on feeding their adoptive son Hudson breast milk from 2 donors everyday.

"Even though its not coming from the child's birth mother the nutritional value is still there" stated Rickey Deranger.

"We started him on donor milk in the hospital. It was his first bottle," first time mom Tiffany Deranger.

They're 1 set of thousands of parents across the US who take part in Eats on Feets, a Facebook driven program connecting breast milk donors with moms in need.

"We had to open ourselves up to negativity and what other people would think but ultimately it's what we decided we wanted to do for our family," stated Tiffany Deranger.

The Louisiana chapter is set up by Bonnie Duplantis. She’s also one of Hudson’s' donors.

She believes that breast milk is the best and safest option for babies.

"I think that if you Google formula and you look at all the stuff that in there…that it is more unsafe and unnatural and unhealthy than informed choice, using somebody else's milk,” stated Eats on Feets Louisiana Administrator Bonnie Duplantis.

The online community operates out of trust. There's no screening, testing or regulation. And it’s completely free.

“When you meet somebody you make a connection with them personally. It's up to you if you want to have it tested you can do that before you take the milk. If you want to have a copy of their medical records you can ask for that,” stated Duplantis. “You can make sure that it’s got a clean bill of health or you can decide that you don't want to take milk from this person."

According to medical experts this donation process could pose a health risk in several ways. These ways include: if the milk isn't sterilely collected, properly frozen and shipped. Another problem could occur if it came from a donor with certain diseases.

"The major concerns with donated breast milk would be a mom who had untreated hepatitis or untreated HIV. There are a few medications that need to be avoided while breast feeding," said Dr. Amber Moreau of Glenwood Regional Medical Center

Dr. Moreau agrees that donated breast milk is the healthier option for a baby's development.

"Breast milk is always considered a better option because of the antibodies. Even though the industry has tried and they've done a great job it's hard to replicate mothers milk" said dr.

She adds that fully knowing the donor's medical history will make the difference between safe feeding and a high risk choice.

The group Eats on Feets advocates the “four pillars” of safe breast milk sharing. They include: Informed choice, Donor screening, Safe handling and Home Pasteurization.

For more safety tips for breast milk sharing click here or go online to https://www.facebook.com/EatsonFeetsLouisiana .

For part 1 on Eats on Feets Louisiana please click here

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