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Milk safety: What you should know before you buy online

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Many new moms and experts swear by breast milk, saying it offers the best nutrition for young babies.

While producing breast milk is natural, not everyone is able to do so.

That can cause some people to find other sources, such as the Internet to meet their needs.

However, experts say this could be dangerous if you don’t do your research.

Alyssa Herrera is a new mom; her baby Ember is just 10-weeks-old.

Herrera had an all-natural home birth and began breastfeeding her baby from the start for both bonding and health purposes.

Herrera said, “There’s so many disease fighting substances when you’re breastfeeding them, it could help against allergies.”

While Herrera can produce milk, some people, such as her cousin, cannot.

Herrera said, “If she didn’t live so far away, I would be totally happy to share my milk. She was devastated to the point of crying.”

For those who don’t have a family member or friend they trust to get breast milk, some people are taking to the web to purchase milk.

For Herrera’s certified professional midwife, this is risky.

Margarett Scott said, “They need to ask a lot of questions. They need to make sure they feel comfortable about where they’re getting their source from and they should ask if these people are willing to be tested.”

A study by Nationwide Children’s Hospital tested 101 samples of breast milk sold on the web.

More than 70 percent of the samples had high levels of bacteria; some samples even contained salmonella.

Some safe alternatives for transferred breast milk are through milk banks, such as the Oklahoma’s Mothers’ Milk Bank.

Moms who donate milk are thoroughly screened and tested before their milk can be pasteurized.

Becky Mannel, vice president of the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Mother’s Milk Bank, stopped by our studios to discuss the safety of milk banks and what measures new mothers should take to get milk.

For more information on milk banks, visit the Oklahoma bank's website or call (405) 297-LOVE.