Health Advice



The kid-friendly way to obtain donated breast milk

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In 2013, actress and vegan Alicia Silverstone created a special breast milk sharing program for mothers who avoid eating animal products. She was inspired to launch Kind Mama Milk Share after another vegan mom, unable to breastfeed, was frustrated in her search for donor breast milk from other vegans. "There's no reason why they shouldn't be able to give their babies the most amazing start in life with clean, mean, glorious breast milk," Silverstone wrote on her website.

But being vegan/vegetarian is just one of the reasons more new mothers are turning to mom-to-mom donated breast milk instead of regulated milk banks, according to new research presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2019 National Conference & Exhibition. Other reasons?

1) The higher cost of milk bank products.

2) Concerns about quality. These are misplaced, since it's mom-to-mom milk that isn't screened and may be contaminated with medications, harmful chemicals, or bacteria and viruses.

3) They aren't able to obtain a prescription for breast milk. One is required for donor milk from a bank.

Unfortunately, according to the survey presented at the APA conference, over 50% of moms don't have safety concerns about using mom-to-mom donor milk, and almost 80% didn't think about asking about the milk donor's past and current health status and medications, or if the milk was screened for contamination.


The best move: If you need to use donor breast milk, contact your doctor or hospital and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America to locate a quality-controlled supplier.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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