MMC pays nursing mothers $1 an once for their oversupply — milk that they produce in addition to what their babies can eat — which nursing women typically pump and freeze.
The average contributor to MMC makes about $800 a month, according to Medo. In the last year, it has paid out over $1 million to donor moms.
It's a simple supply-and-demand equation that, proponents say, provides life-saving milk to babies, and pays women for a rare commodity while providing extra money to their families. Milk-for-sale, however, goes against a tradition of altruistic donor moms who, for decades, have given their excess milk for free to hundreds of milk banks across the country, providing over 3 million ounces to hospitals a year.
“It’s a nice altruistic thought that mothers are just expected to give it, but there has been a severe shortage in hospitals for years,” said Medo.