BOSTON (CBS) — Jessica Elways believes in the benefits of breast milk for her seven month old daughter Penelope, but keeping a steady supply hasn’t been easy.
“I work 45 to 50 hours a week. My supply started to dip, and since I work in retail I can’t pump as much during the day,” she said.
She needed something other mothers have and turned to the Facebook site “Eats on Feets” to find it.
Mothers like Jocelyn Tremblay who are willing to donate their breast milk.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.
“I think it’s a valuable thing for people to have who maybe have no supply of their own,” she said. With her newborn son, Adam, she has a surplus of breast milk and just discovered “Eats on Feets” to post her willingness to donate.
“I think a great thing about Facebook is that it’s very fast and very direct,” said Tremblay.
But it is too fast and too risky for some, including The Mothers’ Milk Bank of New England, based in Newton.
“There are times when moms can be transmitting things to babies they don’t even know about,” said Executive Director Naomi Bar-Yam.
The milk bank screens and processes breast milk for distribution to needy babies for $4.25 an ounce.
Unlike a milk bank, “Eats on Feets” is an exchange with no regulations and no fee. Jessica Elways doesn’t mind the risk.
“I think breast milk has the most benefits, they get the antibodies they need,” she said. It’s a mother-to-mother bond that’s based on trust.
“I think trusting you’re feeding your own child as well, and would hope that you’re a healthy and drug-free person to do that,” said Jocelyn Tremblay.
Donors and recipients are responsible for their own delivery arrangements, and are cautioned by “Eats on Feets” of the benefits and risks.
It’s now becoming a global milk-sharing network that has the Food and Drug Administration now considering whether the milk banks should be regulated.