Health chiefs have warned that the health of babies is being put at risk because Scottish mums are turning to the black market online to buy and sell breast milk.
Women in Aberdeen, Inverness, Ayrshire, Dundee and Fife are advertising human milk.
As first reported in The Sunday Post, two websites have been found with breast milk available from Scottish mums.
One of them, ‘Only the Breast’ is selling human milk for an average of £1 an ounce.
The site also carries adverts from adults looking for breast milk, including male bodybuilders who believe breast milk helps build muscle.
The other, Facebook group Human Milk 4 Human Babies, has Scottish mums offering breast milk for free to others struggling to feed their baby themselves.
NHS Scotland’s milk bank coordinator Debbie Barnett warned online sourcing could put babies at risk.
“This is utterly horrendous and very concerning,” she said.
“It’s a nightmare for a number of reasons – it turns milk into a commodity. When you add money to the situation there’s no telling what people could be selling.
“It could just be white water. Women in financially unstable positions could even be selling milk rather than feeding it to their own babies, so this is very worrying.”
There is concern too over why mothers are going online for cheaper milk with experts fearing that many are turning to the black market because they are struggling financially.
Mary Ross-Davie, director of the Royal College of Midwives in Scotland, said more needs to be done to help the mothers.
She said: “Whether this is looked at by the NHS or by another third sector organisation, there could and should be better access for mothers in need of regulated, donated, breast milk.
“I had no idea about online sales of breast milk in Scotland and it does raise concerns. We need to focus on the ethical questions raised by mothers selling milk online.”
On Only the Breast, which is an international site that charges users to post adverts, one mother in Fife offers “£54 for 50 oz”.
The advert stated: “I have a supply of frozen breast milk my baby will not drink. He won’t drink from a bottle. I don’t mind if the milk is for a baby or an adult. If milk is to be posted buyer will cover all postage and packaging costs and arrange with courier.
“Alternatively, if you live locally you can collect in person.”
Government agency, Food Standards Scotland, has advised breastfeeding mothers to contact their GP, midwife, or health visitor to discuss any issues.
A spokesperson said: “To ensure safety, we recommend that all mothers who wish to receive or donate their breast milk should contact their local donor breast milk bank to make sure the relevant checks are being followed.”