Share the Drop Is an App That Connects Breast Milk Donors to Recipients in Real Time

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Feeding an infant is no joke—between the formula shortage, supply issues (Am I making enough? Do I have an oversupply?) and figuring out your flange size, there’s a whole lot of stress involved. But if you’ve got an infant at home, you may be interested to learn about a brand new app designed to facilitate human milk sharing for families in need. We got the full scoop on how Share the Drop works from the app’s co-founder, Kelly Cox. Read on and decide for yourself whether you want to milk the new resource for all it’s worth.

What Is Share the Drop and How Does It Work?

Share the Drop is an innovative new app that connects families across the country who are in need of breast milk with those who have some to spare, and it’s completely free to use. To get started, donors and recipients must create a personal profile; once that’s done, the app will make matches based on your location (i.e., 5 miles away, 10 miles away, etc.) and you can filter through those matches and communicate with candidates—ask any questions you might have—before meeting up in a public place and getting (or giving) that liquid gold.

In other words, the platform allows users to match in real time and coordinate an in-person meeting whenever they feel comfortable, such that their needs are quickly and efficiently met. According to Cox, the app is nearing 1,000 users and there are currently more donors than receivers—an indication that altruistic help is, indeed, available to those in need.

Wait, Why Is Breast Milk Sharing a Thing?

Human milk sharing has been around for a long time—typically in the form of wet nurses—and modern advancements in food safety and technology (i.e., the internet and this app) mean that peer-to-peer milk sharing no longer has to be quite so, um, intimate…And that’s a very good thing, since the need is definitely real. Indeed, barriers to breastfeeding—mental and physical health issues, workplace demands, societal pressure, inadequate supply and premature births (to name a few)—along with the prohibitive cost and scarcity of formula can wreak serious havoc on a family.

In fact, Cox, a prenatal yoga instructor, birth doula and breast cancer survivor, says she has seen firsthand through both her work and personal experience, the depression and stress that mothers endure when they are struggling to feed their babies, and it’s what inspired her to create a platform that provides every mother access to human milk for their infants if that’s what they feel is best. (And what’s not to love about that?)

What About the Health and Safety of the Milk?

Of course, any mother who’s considering using donor milk will likely have a few questions with regard to the safety of the product. Per Cox, users are required to read “Eats on Feets Four Pillars of Safe Breast Milk Sharing,” which explains safe handling, storage and home pasteurization. Additionally, donors are given the option to share recent lab work—the profiles of those who agree have a special icon so recipients know they can request to see health records—and, per the terms and conditions, all donors are required to sign off that they do not have any transmissible diseases. It’s also worth noting that recipients and donors are able to self-report information regarding dietary restrictions, as well as caffeine and alcohol intake, on their profiles.

Ultimately, though, the app “leaves all safety matters to be handled between users, and simply provides a platform for them to meet and talk,” explains Cox, adding that “the hope is to give families agency and authority on how they choose to feed their infants.” That said, users can also rely on home alcohol testing strips and pasteurization methods to personally ensure the safety of the milk they receive (and it’s probably wise to do so).

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...