Characteristics of Sellers Who Provided Milk for the Current Study Compared With a Representative Group of Sellers Advertising Milk on the Internet

Current Study (n = 102)aRepresentative Group of Sellers (n = 99)
Made claims about quality of the milk,b n (%)27 (26)37 (37)
Price per ounce requested, mean (SD), $1.61 (0.56)1.64 (0.56)
Reason for providing milk,c n (%)
 Accumulated extra milk44 (43)55 (56)
 Mother has excessive milk supply36 (35)41 (41)
 To make money3 (3)8 (8)
 Own child cannot tolerate it/has feeding difficulty1 (1)1 (1)
 Own child no longer drinking it03 (3)
 To help someone else2 (2)0 (0)
 Other1 (1)3 (3)
 Not mentioned17 (17)11 (11)
Health behaviors mentioned,c n (%)
 Hygiene and handling practicesd26 (25)25 (25)
 Infectious disease statuse22 (22)15 (15)
 Substance and pharmaceutical usef72 (71)72 (73)
 Dietary or exercise habitsg63 (62)68 (69)
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of advertisement, n (%)
 0–3.04 (4)6 (6)
 3.1–6.045 (44)53 (54)
 6.1–9.043 (42)35 (35)
 >9.09 (9)5 (5)
Amount of breast milk available as mentioned in advertisement,c n (%)
 ≤50 ounces or “small” amount0 (0)4 (4)
 51–200 ounces or “extra”16 (16)15 (15)
 201–350 ounces or “abundance,” “lots,” or “bulk”21 (21)37 (37)
 >350 ounces or “freezer(s) full”29 (28)21 (21)
 Ongoing supply0 (0)11 (11)
 Not mentioned35 (34)22 (22)
  • a One sample was missing all advertisement data and is not reflected in the table.

  • b States milk is “healthy,” “creamy,” “rich,” “organic,” “wholesome,” “pure,” or “high quality.”

  • c Sums to >100% because multiple responses could be selected.

  • d Pump sterilized or cleaned, milk frozen immediately, containers cleaned, or other hygiene or milk handling practice mentioned.

  • e Offers to provide screening test results or medical records, milk bank donor certified, offers to provide letter of recommendation from health care provider, states has been screened for infectious disease(s).

  • f Limited or no alcohol; nonsmoking; states “drug free,” no illicit drugs, or no pharmaceuticals or only over-the-counter medications.

  • g Takes vitamins or omega-3 supplements; states “healthy diet” or “well-balanced diet”; no or limited dairy; organic; eats fruits, vegetables, or whole grains; drinks lots of water or only water; no red meat, pork, or fatty meat; limited gassy or spicy foods; vegetarian or vegan; soy-free; regular exercise; or other dietary habits mentioned.