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Craigslist Kicks Off Woman Donating Breast Milk

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Guest blogger Kate Tuttle: Oh, Craigslist. After being pressured to take down your "Adult Services" section, which was basically an online red-light district in which sex workers of all kinds could advertise themselves (a move that you made only grudgingly in the wake of the Craigslist killer case), you have finally found a transaction you don't feel is appropriate: a woman offering to give away her breast milk to someone else's needy baby.

breastmilk pump
That's right: Altruistic, no-strings-attached offers of a substance a lot of people find hard to come by (or outrageously expensive, in the case of private milk banks) ... they're just not acceptable on Craigslist. Sure, you can offer to have sex with a stranger. You can sell someone a used mattress (bedbugs included at no charge!). But giving away breast milk? That's just unsanitary. Or something.

The woman in question, Becca Shears, is a Vancouver mother of two who is nearing the end of a stint as a gestational surrogate. She's carrying twins and has already promised the first month's worth of breast milk to the babies' parents, but after that she says she's willing to pump and ship milk to others who need it. A local milk bank would have taken it, but after the fiasco with Craigslist, she decided to sell the milk instead. She's now offering it for $1.50 an ounce on the Vancouver version of Kijiji, an eBay marketplace.

Whether you think it's creepy or creative, women have been sharing breast milk for eons. Doing it online is just the latest wrinkle -- and one that has gotten a lot of attention lately. But no matter how you feel about it, does anyone really think this is the worst thing you can get on Vancouver's Craigslist? If so, I give you: "Gently Used Ladies Underpants." Or perhaps "Daddy/Daughter Fantasy," from their still-allowed "casual encounters" section.

next: No Hanukkah Bushes in My House!
13 comments so far | Post a comment now
Ame December 3, 2010, 2:22 PM

It’s ALL nasty based soley on the fact you don’t know these people! You don’t know if the breast milk has been tampered with, been stored correctly or if the woman donating has taken any kind of medication that could have an adverse affect on your child. I’d never trust it and as for the gently used under garments and used mattresses…NASTY!!! If I couldn’t afford new of either, I’d go comando and sleep on a floor.

renee December 3, 2010, 7:13 PM

i agree with CL. what if she has a disease that can be passed thru breastmilk?other organizations that utilize sharing of milk screen for disease first. sorry lady but the safety of my kids come first

Mom December 3, 2010, 9:04 PM

Well, I wouldn’t use it but Craigslist wasn’t thinking of the unhealthy part, just the fact it is breast milk. Our culture is fascinated with breasts but not brestfeeding. That is part of what makes us a sick society.

Brenda  December 3, 2010, 9:39 PM

How do you know what Craigslist was thinking when they took it down?? Why do people always think the worst of everyone? I would never buy used panties either but I wouldn’t judge someone else who was. Maybe they are just needy and maybe they buy a used mattress because they are already tired of sleeping on the floor. I’m lucky I’ve never been that bad off and I thank God for that but I will never judge any one who is in the position where they need to buy a used mattress.

Mama Mia December 5, 2010, 7:18 AM

Breastmilk is great. Great for baby, great for mom. Some people can’t or don’t breast feed. Some moms donate (or sell) their milk to others who need it. This is all well and good, nothing wrong with it. However, if you read CL’s terms and conditions (which I know most people don’t) the specifically forbid the sale of, among other things, bodily fluids. Nothing against this particular woman. Nothing against breastfeeding. Just a violation of their terms. And, yes, I KNOW plenty of other terms are violated (technically you can’t sell pets, and people do it all the time,) but forgive them (CL) for adhering to policy this one time.

Louanne Wilson December 5, 2010, 11:59 AM

Any breast milk is good. You don’t know what is in the formula that is bought in the market. We like to think that it is pure but there has recently been recalls due to tainting of beetle larva or beetles themselves. Much of this is allowed but this was a severe case. In the past there were women who provided milk to all the babies in the nursery. The good out weighs the bad when it comes to breast milk. Craig’s list was the wrong forum but we have blood banks why not breast milk banks where you could have milk properly stored and repurchased? This story shows a need for such a place. There is a market on both ends for the product. There are tests for alcohol in breast milk. People just don’t understand that powdered or mixed in a can formula has contaminants in it too. There could be contaminants (legal) from the factory and the factory workers. If they have a virus, germs could be passed on and bugs or other pests and their fecal matter can be in it. Breast milk is 1000x’s better for the baby.

keri December 5, 2010, 5:13 PM

I think that any time a woman wants to share or make available breast milk she should be commended. It is the best possible thing for any baby. Yes, she may be on meds that are not safe, so have the milk checked out. Some babies do really bad on formula and breast milk is a Godsend for them. Maybe their moms cannot breast feed them for some reason. I nursed both of my nephews at different times. Our breasts, though they can be sexual, are meant for our babies just as the mamories of every other mammal on the planet. People really need to get over these hang ups.

mixsongs December 6, 2010, 3:05 AM

Sharing breast milk is good. It is how you shipped it makes it looks gross. There is no problem if a another woman wants to share her breas tmilk as long as she makes it more sanitary. You can’t give a dirty milk to a baby. But you can share a milk as long as you do it properly.-

Elisabeth Edin December 7, 2010, 2:39 AM

You are a very clever individual!

Kymberly Taite December 7, 2010, 3:13 AM

I am continually browsing online for posts that can help me. Thank you!

Stephanie December 7, 2010, 10:18 AM

I applaud women for breastfeeding. I nursed and pumped for both of my children. It is from this experience that I have learned that you need to pay close attention to what you eat and drink when nursing. Certains foods don’t react well when passed to a baby. Just ask me about spinach and a fussy newborn. Personally, there are just too many questions to ask. I would think any parent picky enough to want to feed their child pumped breast milk over fomula would also be extremely picky about where that milk comes from, what was in it and how it was extracted and stored.

novembermist December 7, 2010, 9:42 PM

I can understand being wary of any medications she might be on or things that may have advrse effects on your baby… But at the same time.. She’s a surrogate mother. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty damn sure that surrogates are screened for all that kind of crap anyway. So if she was on something that was going to mess up a kid’s development, she wouldn’t have passed the screening for a surrogate. It was also stated that a Milk Bank offered to take it, but she turned them down, so she must have passed their screenings as well, right?

A little bit of common sese goes a long way.

Donating Breast Milk March 9, 2011, 9:02 PM

I am trying to find a family to help out.. I am making way more then my son needs, I have a stand up deep freezer full and all that is left is the doors to be filled.. So ya helping others out is great.. and yes their are many concerns about this.. but i am willing to get any test done that the reciever may want done.. I am carefully with what i eat and am willing to change things if they would like.. Since I am also nursing my son i do not take anything that will harm him, i store the milk and handle it correctly.. I dont smoke, or drink, or do drugs… like i said this is an amazing thing when you have someone in need of help and you know you can help them out.

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