Fast forward a few weeks later to when Mckmama of mycharmingkids.com put together a breastmilk drive for this wee one. She sent a shout out and many mothers responded by pumping and donating milk to the father of this baby.
It is amazing to see so many breastfeeding mothers come together to support a father who wants to do the best for his child.
the milk drive that Mckmama pulled together is causing a great deal of controversy. And rightly so.
My personal opinion is that breastmilk is best for a baby. After all, it is the way God intended for a baby to be fed and is geared specifically for each baby. The nutrients are far superior to formula. This is not to say that a mother who formula feeds is a bad mother; formula vs. breast is a personal decision (much as organic vs. traditional foods is). If I was unable to breastfeed my own babies I would consider buying breastmilk from a milk bank (if I was a millionaire, that is...this stuff is expensive!) or accept breastmilk from a long-time trusted friend or family member.
I would not accept breastmilk from a total stranger.
There is a reason that breastmilk from a milk bank is grossly expensive. The mothers and the milk have to go through a rigorous screening and testing process. Health is monitored, milk needs to be stored and transported a certain way. This is for the safety of the infant. Breastmilk expressed and stored incorrectly can cause an infant to get sick or miss needed nutrients that should have been in the milk. Mothers with health issues (HIV, Hepatitis, etc.) can pass those illnesses along in their milk. Mothers on certain medications or with alcohol or other substances in their milk can be a danger to the baby receiving the milk. There is a reason that milk banks have a testing process in place.
I think Mckmama's heart was in the right place but that her plan was executed much too quickly without a whole lot of thought behind the specifics. Could she not have raised funds instead for this father so that he could have purchased milk from a milk bank? Could she not have organized a group of women in his own town that could go through testing and then donate their milk to him? Collecting breastmilk from complete strangers with unknown histories is a danger. Who is to say what is in those breastmilk storage bags that she collected for this infant?
I wouldn't give my baby breastmilk from a complete stranger that had not undergone a complete blood work test and health written statement from her doctor any more than I would eat a sandwich given to me from a stranger at the door.
In this case, it seems, Mckmama is putting the horse before the cart. Untested breastmilk from strangers is much more risky and unhealthful than formula. Mckmama hasn't stopped to realize that in her quest to help this infant she could be causing a great deal of harm by the route she is taking of collecting breastmilk. She seems to be promoting the idea that any and all breastmilk is better than formula, when that is not even close to the reality. Breastmilk is not always the best, in my opinion, if there is a danger to the baby from unscreened strangers.