Proper practices protect infant milk supply

Kathleen Rasmussen, professor of nutrition at Cornell University, is internationally known for her research on maternal and child nutrition and has published several papers on milk pumping and milk sharing. Building on the research published in Pediatrics earlier this week, Rasmussen encourages all women who pump, even for their own child, to handle their milk properly.

Rasmussen says:

“The new study in Pediatrics by Drs. Keim, Geraghty and their collaborators clearly establishes that milk shared among strangers may pose a hazard to the infants who receive this milk.  The majority of American women are now pumping their milk and some of them have produced so much that they are willing to share it with strangers for free or for a price.

“Women need to know how to handle their milk so it remains safe and nutritious to feed, and then they must use these safe practices – whether they intend to feed their milk to their own infants or the infants of other women.

“It is time for the medical and public health communities do the research necessary to understand how women are actually using breast pumps and also to provide them with evidence-based and consistent guidance on best practices for pumping, storing, reheating and feeding their pumped milk.”

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