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Milk sharing grows in popularity amid formula shortage

Frozen breast milk
Posted at 5:12 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 19:09:02-04

NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Amid a national formula shortage, informal breast milk sharing is on the rise in Tennessee.

Corinne Weston posted on the Human Milk 4 Human Babies - Tennessee group that she had an oversupply of breast milk up for grabs.

"It’s stressful; because of the pandemic, there’s childcare issues, now there’s economic issues with inflation and costs rising, and now if you can't even find the formula for your child, can you afford it?" Weston said.

She received a flood of messages on Facebook from parents who needed her milk. Her supply was claimed in hours.

"Actually, I cried yesterday for quite a bit,” Weston said, “One of the moms messaging me said she ran out of formula two days ago, and every day she’s tried to find a way to feed her child, she can’t find the formula they need."

Corinne can't use some of her milk because her little one has a dairy allergy.

"I have completely eliminated dairy from my diet, which is very difficult to do. It’s been a struggle, so I was recommended that I switch to formula, and I went out to the store to look for it. It wasn’t there. The brand that was recommended was one of the original recalls back in February," Weston said.

Her breastfeeding journey has come full circle.

"It’s crazy, this time last year I was actually receiving donor milk," said Weston.

Another donor, Jennifer Farsoun, said parents are desperate.

"It’s heartbreaking," Farsoun said.

A mom drove from Murfreesboro to Farsoun's home in Cookeville to get extra milk this week. All of hers has been claimed too.

"Just knowing that you’re able to help a child, that should be the only encouragement that you need, and it’s just an amazing thing to be able to help one another and just promote kindness," Farsoun said.

Some donors will offer up their medical history, dietary habits, and vaccination status to ease concerns.