What are the benefits of community-based milk sharing?

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Some benefits are:

  • Normalizes breastmilk as the primary food source for babies, wet-nursing and the sharing of breastmilk.
  • Rapid response in acute situations,
  • Affordable,1
  • Control of the pasteurization process,
  • Likelihood of obtaining age-specific milk,2
  • Opportunity to meet donor(s) and verify lifestyle and health habits,
  • Provides parental autonomy,
  • Builds community with other parents,
  • In some cultures: extends family to include ‘milk-brothers and -sisters,’3
  • Key placement of those whose knowledge, assistance and networks could be imperative during a state of emergency,4

Next: Are there risks to using donor milk?


  1. Eats on Feets does not support or approve of the selling of breastmilk on its network. []
  2. See ‘Can I receive milk from a donor who’s baby is not the same age as mine?‘ []
  3. According to Islamic law, two babies breastfed by the same milk-providing parent automatically become Mahram (unmarriageable kin). This prevents the use of mixed donor milk from milk banks as it would be impossible to know family status. []
  4. See ‘Breastmilk in a state of emergency’ for more information. []

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