Got milk? Sharing human milk Via the internet

Center for Breastfeeding Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.
Public Health Reports (Impact Factor: 1.55). 03/2011; 126(2):161-4. DOI: 10.2307/41639341
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Article: Got milk? Sharing human milk Via the internet

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    • "In the current medical-scientific discourse 'breast is best' but only if the breast belongs to the infant's biological mother or the milk is obtained through a formal milk bank. Until 2013, opposition to milk sharing facilitated via internet was expressed mainly in informal medical commentary and news articles (Bond, 2008; Geraghty, Heier, & Rasmussen, 2011; Nelson, 2012; Vogel, 2011). The article published in Pediatrics provided scientific evidence to support opposition (Keim et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: The exchange of human breast milk, a common and well-established practice, has become a site of public controversy in the US. There is controversy over the use of the internet to facilitate milk exchange and public interest in the practice has been stimulated by a research article published in the journal Pediatrics that identified high levels of potentially harmful bacteria in breast milk sold online. In this article we use feminist critical discourse analysis to critically examine how breast milk sharing is represented in a sample of 30 articles from US print newspapers published in 2010–2013. We found complex and contradictory images of human milk, with medically supervised milk banks represented as a life-saving entity, nature’s ‘liquid gold’, whereas peer sharing of breast milk was represented as dangerous, and in this context breast milk was represented as a potentially life-threatening substance. Women who donated milk to milk banks were represented as altruistic and those who obtained their babies’ milk from the milk bank were represented as responsible and acting in the best interests of their babies. In contrast women who participated in peer milk sharing were represented at best as ill-informed about the risks to babies and at worst, morally reprehensible for disregarding the risks. Mothers who fed their babies this milk were represented as irresponsible and playing ‘Russian roulette’ with their babies. We argue that such contradictory representations are grounded in concerns in high income countries such as the USA with the control and surveillance of the female body through discourses of risk and are based on cultural constructions of individualism and intensive mothering.
    Health Risk & Society 01/2015; online first(1). DOI:10.1080/13698575.2014.1000269 · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    Public Health Reports 03/2011; 126(2):165-6. DOI:10.2307/41639342 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A quiet revolution has been taking place in the feeding of US infants in the form of women using electric breast pumps. This revolution in milk expression may be a boon for both mothers and infants if more infants are fed human milk or if they receive human milk for a longer period. Milk expression may also be problematic for mothers, and it may be particularly problematic for infants if they are fed too much, fed milk of an inappropriate composition, or fed milk that is contaminated. As a result, the time has come to determine the prevalence of exclusive and periodic breast milk expression and the consequences of these behaviors for the health of mothers and their infants.
    American Journal of Public Health 06/2011; 101(8):1356-9. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300136 · 4.55 Impact Factor
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