SEATTLE — A new study of breast milk bought online found high levels of contamination that could make babies sick.
According to USA Today, the study, which will be published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at 100 samples of breast milk purchased on a public milk sharing website. Researchers found three out of four samples contained high levels of bacterial growth, and even bacteria that could cause disease.
Researchers compared the milk bought online, to samples of unpasteurized breast milk from a non-profit milk bank.
USA Today reported that the bacteria was likely related to donor’s own poor hygiene, or the use of containers or breast pump parts that have not been cleaned. Researchers also said that the contamination may have occurred during the shipping process.
According to the researchers, finding some bacteria in breast milk is normal, and that it can be healthy for babies as their immune and digestive systems develop. They also said that the study focused on bacteria that is mostly harmless in very small amounts.