Thursday, March 12, 2015

Breast milk plan to purchase and sell breast milk cancelled in Detroit

Steve Leider writes:

"An Oregon-based company Medolac (partnering with the Mothers Milk Cooperative) was trying to expand its program of buying breastmilk from nursing mothers with surplus milk into Detroit.  However, several local groups reacted very negatively, arguing that this would cause many mothers to sell all their milk (therefore harming their own children).  Ultimately it caused the company to cancel their plans."

Here's a positive story on the proposal, focusing on a seller of breast milk (who produced more than her baby could consume), followed by many negative stories (focusing on the possibility that women would sell breast milk even if they did not have a surplus):

"She breast-fed Jaden, but when Johanna was born, she wouldn’t latch on to breast-feed.

So Short was getting up at 4 am to pump and put that milk the in the freezer. Eventually, she said she wound up with an overflowing freezer stuffed with 2,000 ounces of breast milk.

"I had a storage problem! I just didn't have anywhere else to put more frozen milk," she laughs. 

For a while, Short was donating that milk to a local, non-profit milk bank.

But a friend told her about Medolac, which pays moms $1 an ounce for breast milk.

The company says it then sells that milk, at a profit, to hospitals, where it helps premature babies.

Over the next nine months or so, Short says she sent about 5,400 ounces to Medolac.

"It did help cover some bills. I bought myself a porch swing! That was my treat to myself because I really wanted a porch swing! And we definitely paid bills with it. There was a time when my husband was working fewer hours, so it really helped us cover bills."

And, Short says she originally planned to stop breastfeeding Johanna after a year. But she's continued, because of Medolac.

"It was a great incentive for me to continue and make a little bit of extra money and help some other babies who need it."

"A group of Detroit women is accusing an Oregon breast milk bank of exploiting women by asking them for their breast milk — a particular concern given the city's deep poverty, low rates of breastfeeding and high infant mortality.

That effort, they say, will take the precious substance — packed with potentially life-saving health benefits — away from Detroit babies."

 Company offering to buy breast milk creates controversy (video of news broadcast, with interviews)


"An Oregon-based company has backed away from a plan to purchase breast milk from Detroit mothers, saying Thursday that opposition from community groups made the environment here “toxic.”

"Detroit organizations unleashed a firestorm of questions last week and argued the plan by Medolac Laboratories smacked of exploitation of the city’s impoverished mothers. Detroit has the highest infant mortality rate in the nation, as well as the greatest percentage of children living in extreme poverty.
"Kiddada Green, executive director of the Black Mothers Breast Feeding Association, called the Lake Oswego company’s decision not to collect breast milk in Detroit a “victory to Detroit mothers.”

No comments: