Utah mom Alyssa Chitti has three freezers full of breast milk, and with the current shortage of baby formula, she is looking to help desperate mothers out.
She wanted to donate it to a local milk bank, but she says it was much easier to list it online.
Chitti's local milk bank, Mountain West Mothers' Milk, says they would need more than 300 donors to meet the demand in the community. They currently have 175, but according to Mary Callahan the milk bank's clinical coordinator, it requires extensive bloodwork in order to accept a new donor, a process that can take weeks.
Even if hundreds of women volunteered to donate today, it would take months for the bank to meet the demand.
The donor screening process, because we are very thorough and it does require blood tests, on average, it takes about four to six weeks. We do have donors that are motivated that can get it done in two. It would probably take us two to three months to really get to where we can start looking at providing for the outward community that's outside of the hospital.
Many milk banks have seen an exponential increase in donor interest.
The Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast usually sees 10-30 calls from donors per month. That has increased to 10-30 calls per day, but the screening process means that most of that potential milk will be held up for weeks.
The screening process is important because donated mothers' milk can carry contamination or infectious disease, according to the FDA, and selling mothers' milk is currently unregulated, so buyers need to be very careful.
Some mothers' milk marketplace sites like OnlytheBreast require mothers to complete a screening test that at least screens for diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, but buying on Craigslist or Facebook is much more risky.
As for Alyssa Chitti's 4,000 ounces, she's decided to sell them for $1 an ounce, but she doesn't want to take advantage of desperate moms and is willing to negotiate the price.
The baby formula shortage, caused by supply-chain problems and the temporary closure of one of the nation's largest formula factories by the FDA, has led many mothers who can't breastfeed to go great distances to try and find food for their babies.
According to our Transportation Secretary, Mayor Peter, the Biden administration is working to end the shortage:
Buttigieg, who adopted 9-month old twins with his homosexual partner and no doubt has enough formula to feed them, blamed the shortage on Abbott, the company that makes Similac.
The government does not make baby formula, nor should it. Companies make formula, and one of those companies — a company which, by the way, seems to have 40% market share — messed up and is unable to confirm that a plant, a major plant, is safe and free of contamination.
But don't worry, because President Biden says that the baby formula shortage should be addressed in a matter of weeks (never mind that infants can only go about a week without food, and if they do, they will have developmental issues for life).
Formula manufacturer Abbott says that they do have extra formula that was previously on hold, whatever that means, and will ship it for free with a doctor's recommendation. Senator John Kennedy posted their 800-number this weekend.
But getting a doctor's recommendation may take just as long as the other official channels. So for moms desperate to feed their babies today, unscreened mothers selling milk like Alyssa Chitti, and all the risk that entails, may be the only feasible option.
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