Many women are blessed to produce breast milk in greater quantities than are required by their babies, while others cannot provide breast milk for reasons such as illness or medical condition, risk of transmitting unwanted substances, and adoption among others. Since breast milk is recognized as the only kind of milk that contains the appropriate amounts of all nutrients an infant needs, it is highly recommended to have babies feed on breast milk for at least one year or two. Even though science has produced formula to replicate the nutritional value of breast milk, the latter is still considered the best for babies. Fortunately, if formula is an unlikely option for your child, you can still go for breast milk as it can be purchased as explained in the following steps.
- Refer to your physician. Apart from providing you ample information on breast milk or breastfeeding, your doctor will give you prescription to purchase human breast milk if formula is not an option for you. A prescription is required in order to procure donor milk. Your doctor will refer you to a human breast milk bank nearest your location where you can purchase safely processed and packaged breast milk at very economical price. You can either pick up the donor milk or have it shipped to your home in case there is no milk bank in your area. In the United States, the US Food and Drug Administration supervise human milk banks. These lactation banks are located in hospitals where breast milk from carefully screened mothers is pasteurized, decontaminated, and hermetically packaged prior to selling. All human milk banks strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America or HMBA.
- Pay the corresponding fee for the donor milk. To make up for the processing cost of donor breast milk, the lactation bank will charge a fee about 60% of the cost. Charges may vary in different milk banks but the price usually ranges from $2.25 to $3.00 per ounce of milk plus shipping fee of $0.25 per ounce.
- Find private organizations or individuals that provide breast milk. While it is highly recommended to seek your doctor’s advice and prescription prior to purchasing breast milk, you can buy from private organizations or lactating women who offer breast milk for sale. Many mothers who have oversupply of healthy breast milk personally store ounces of milk in order to help other babies and earn money as well. You can ask for medical records to prove that the milk you are getting is safe and free from any communicable diseases.
- Purchase breast milk online. If you have not heard of it yet, you will be surprised to know that breast milk is even made available at the popular marketplaces online. Many nursing mothers also host their own blog sites where they market their breast milk. The cost is expectedly cheaper compared to breast milk provided by milk banks.
While you can find wet nurses or purchase breast milk online, it pays to be certain about the safety and cleanliness of the breast milk you purchase. Apart from ensuring the nursing mother is free from any illnesses, verify how the breast milk is processed and packaged.