Recently, the FDA has come out with statements that discourage the mama to mama sharing of breast milk through Facebook or other groups.
I feel a need to address this as a milk donor.
Sure sharing has risks. So does riding a bike. The risks are very different but the idea is the same: you need to be responsible.
I would not give a mother any milk that I would not feed my baby- but that is just me. There are of course some loonies out there. While you cannot guard against every risk you can take basic precautions.
Ask for and look at the mother's prenatal blood work. Meet her and her baby- observe her if things don't seem right pass on the milk- there will be other donors. Ask the basic questions: do you smoke, use drugs... etc.
There are a lot of sites to help you decide what you should ask, MilkShare is a great resource.
Sharing milk is a very personal choice. Personally, I have had my baby nurse from other women when I was unable to do so and I am exceptionally grateful I had women in my life who were willing and able to do so. Because I am personal friends with them, I felt safe having my baby have their milk. But, as a mom who has been on both sides I truly appreciate the leap of faith that a mama must make to feed her baby another woman's milk.
Being able to feed another woman's baby is a huge honor. I feel privileged to be chosen to be able to provide that to her.
Honestly, I wish milk sharing was more common and de-stigmatized. If it was more mainstream maybe milk banks would not charge such an obscene amount for their milk and more mothers would consider it as an option. Human breast milk is meant for human babies. Cow milk is meant for baby cows