can you filter human breast milk before giving to the baby?

if the mother is poisoned or ill with infectious disease, would it make sense to extract the milk, filter out the bad stuff or treat the milk with antibiotics and then give it to the baby? Would such an approach be in some situations cheaper or healthier than just feeding it a formula and not using mother’s milk at all?

When you donate to a milk bank, I think they do somethng to it. Pasteurize?

When I had surgery, I had to pump and dump for 24 hours because of the anesthetic. I had a supply of breastmilk in the frigde though. I can’t imagine filtering the milk enough to remove poison or drugs would be cheaper than formula.

I can’t see any way “filtering” breast milk would be cheaper than formula. Just no way.

As for healthier… formula isn’t poison, you know. Many people subsist on formula as infants and grow up to be healthy, normal adults. Seems to me that formula known to be safe and nutritious would be far preferable to questionable breastmilk. Yes, good breastmilk is best, but in your scenario the breast milk isn’t good, is it? Seems safer to dump it and use formula to me.

If Mother is ill, how effective would ceasing breastfeeding be in preventing infection of the baby? It seems that normal mother-infant interaction would be an effective way of passing on many types of infections.

Many mothers nurse their infants when they have ordinary illnesses, like colds and such. Other than illnesses that are specifically passed through breastmilk, the general rule is that if Mom feels up to it, it’s better to continue breastfeeding.

In the case of HIV, which is passed through breastmilk and which isn’t spread through normal contact, breastmilk can be pasteurized to kill the virus. Some charities are testing programs that provide solar cookers and other needed materials to HIV+ mothers in poor areas of developing countries. I don’t know how many mothers go through the trouble of pumping and boiling in places where clean drinking water is reliably available, however.

Filtering out poisons that aren’t destroyed by cooking, on the other hand, is probably too expensive to be practically viable, especially considering that small amounts of poison can be enough to harm a tiny baby. That also includes some medicines that may be beneficial to the mother but not good for an infant!

As flodnak said: With most illnesses the mother can continue to breastfeed. My wife is breastfeeding, and she happens to be suffering right at the moment from something requiring antibiotics. Her doctor told her to keep breastfeeding if at all possible.