A Montreal-based mother and breast-feeding activist and a midwife in Arizona have created Eats on Feets, which uses the power of social networking to help women swap breast milk over the Internet. So far, it's a hit.
Time reports that around 100 local chapters have already sprung up in all 50 U.S. states and almost two dozen countries; the group's Twitter feed indicates that the media coverage might have helped them grow their ranks even more. They don't deliver the milk themselves, screen donors, or intervene in the mom-2-mom relationships in any other way besides putting donor moms in touch with moms in need. The milk is mailed and then usually flash-treated by the recipient to kill off diseases; a YouTube video explains the process (everything's on YouTube!).
The site sure seems to be doing well in the Internet commenter department, with parents praising it for making milk affordable, reducing waste, and helping to nourish underfed babes. But the government of Canada has issued a warning to prospective swappers reminding them about the potential for transmission of HIV and other diseases—and we'll probably know soon if the U.S. government plans to follow its lead. The site's founders think the Canadian warning stems from fear that women "lacktivists" are creating a strong community online.
Sounds like a toss-up, but a. I'm not a doctor, I just play one on the Internet, and b. my mom raised me on baby formula, and indoctrinated me on the wisdom of going that route. What do you think? Would you swap milk online? Or is the Canadian government just being germophobic?
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Move Over, Milk Banks: Facebook and Milk Sharing [Time]
Warning about sharing breast milk unnecessary: Advocate [Toronto Sun]