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Instead of buying formula...

The Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB) is an international online community involving 52 countries and more than 20,000 members.

It was started by Canadian-based activist Emma Kwasnica in 2010 after she was outraged that a well-known online doctor had plans to peddle his brand of formula milk.

HM4HB promotes breast milk and foster a community of local families to share breast milk, according to their website. It is a volunteer-only network with no funding or financial support. The sale of breast milk is banned.

On Facebook, the Singapore group has about 1,500 likes and many active posts from mothers who wish to donate their milk and requests from others for breast milk.

Posts from donors usually include details about their diet, lifestyle and age of child.

Mr Chakilam Phani Bhooshan, 36, an IT consultant, has been getting breast milk for his year-old child from the group for the past year. He usually asks for details such as the mother's medical history and age of the child.

While he takes precautions, he believes that there is a system of trust in the community.

FOUNDATION

"I believe mothers are all on the same side. Breast milk is the foundation of my child's growth and the benefits will last through his life," said Mr Chakilam.

Ms Felicia Ang, 22, has been on the HM4HB page for the past two months. She donates her breast milk because of oversupply and because her freezer was running out of space.

"The experience is good. Everyone around me was so impressed with me and all of them are very supportive about it," said Ms Ang, who intends to breastfeed until her five-month-old baby is a year old.


Breast milk is the foundation of my child's growth and the benefits will last through his life.

- Mr Chakilam Phani Bhooshan, who has been getting breast milk for his one-year-old child from the group for the past year