Risk: Milksharing vs Formula

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Risk: Milksharing vs Formula
4
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 5:33pm

"The advent of Internet forums that facilitate peer-to-peer human milk sharing has resulted in health authorities stating that sharing human milk is dangerous. There are risks associated with all forms of infant feeding, including breastfeeding and the use of manufactured infant formulas. However, health authorities do not warn against using formula or breastfeeding; they provide guidance on how to manage risk. Cultural distaste for sharing human milk, not evidenced-based research, supports these official warnings. Regulating bodies should conduct research and disseminate information about how to mitigate possible risks of sharing human milk, rather than proscribe the practice outright."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3395287/

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 5:43pm

Infant Formula Handling

"Many mothers of infants aged 1.5 to 4.5 months did not follow safe formula-handling recommendations to prevent foodborne illness...Fifty-five percent of these mothers said that they did not always wash their hands with soap before preparing formula (vs 63% among mothers of infants aged >8.5–10.5 months), and <3% of those who did not always wash their hands reported always using hand sanitizer before preparing infant formula. In addition, 33% reported that their infant's bottle nipples were at least sometimes only rinsed with water before being reused, 5% reported that the nipples were at least sometimes not cleaned in any way before being reused. Thirty-five percent reported that bottles were at least sometimes heated in a microwave oven, and almost 20% reported that bottles were always heated this way. However, only 6% reported that prepared formula was kept at room temperature for >2 hours, and only 17% to 23% of all the mothers, depending on the age of the infant, said prepared formula was never kept at room temperature. The majority of those who did report sometimes keeping formula at room temperature reported doing so for <1 hour."

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/122/Supplement_2/S85.full

IOW, babies fed formula are likely to have measurable levels of bacteria from inadequate washing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 6:02pm

"IOW, babies fed formula are likely to have measurable levels of bacteria from inadequate washing."

Well, no, that's not what that says.  It addressed what percentage of people follow certain precautions, not whether not observing those precautions lead to measurable levels of bacteria (my guess, based on what I know about conditions necessary for bacterial growth, would be that some of them do and some don't).  It's more like a study examining what percentage of online milk sharers follow recommendations regarding shipping time, shipping temperature conditions, donor questions, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 10-24-2013 - 7:28pm

"It addressed what percentage of people follow certain precautions, not whether not observing those precautions lead to measurable levels of bacteria "

True, but the study did find that the majority of formula feeders were not consistent about hand washing. Not properly hand washing leads to bacterial contamination. Whether the the hands are used to prepare formula or pumped breastmilk doesn't really matter.

Pumped breastmilk would provide some level of protection against contamination due to its anti-microbial properties. Formula is not protective. 

No, the original study did not examine typical online milk sharers.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 10-25-2013 - 10:59pm

According to the CDC not hand washing results in increased risk of illness.

"Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands."

http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/

So, even though the study did not review the link between handwashing and risk of illness, it DID show a lack of hand washing. Lack of hand washing is commonly known to be a cause of spreading disease.