SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Families grappling with the ongoing formula shortage are turning to other mothers in search of breast milk in order to feed their infants. Breast milk is becoming a precious commodity as families face store shelves bare of formula and as a result, breast milk sales are popping up on Craigslist as well as donations through an network of online community organizations.
In addition to the online marketplace for breast milk, local breast milk banks are seeing a higher demand.
Northampton Area Pediatrics houses a local dispensary for breast milk from Newton-based Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast. While most of the breast milk from Mother’s Milk is for medically fragile infants, the organization is hearing from families in need across the state.
“We are doing our best to support the community.. our mission is about supporting families and babies, so you know when we can, we are able to supply small amounts of milk, so that’s usually like 10 or up to 20 bottles,” said Deborah Youngblood, executive director of Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast.
Northampton Area Pediatrics has also fielded calls from concerned local families looking for breast milk and has received calls from families as far away as Boston who are willing to make the trip to collect milk. Lactation consultant Kate Bohne has also been advising families who are finding themselves at a loss.
“Yeah, we’ve heard from a lot of families who are really worried, yeah. We’ve been advising families how to seek out formula in the stores and online and help the connect with the formulas that they need,” said Bohne.
The good news is that in addition to an increased demand, the Mother’s Milk Banks Northeast is also seeing a greater interest in mothers looking to donate.