News | Published January 22, 2014

Pregnant women, infants and children not recommended to consume raw milk

Central Pennsylvania is a rural area with many dairy farms that provide people with access to raw milk, which is why I found it important to share the newest recommendation on raw milk from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The AAP advises pregnant women, infants and children to consume only pasteurized milk, cheese and other milk products, and supports the ban on the sale of raw milk in the United States. Raw milk and milk products from cows, goats and sheep can transmit deadly bacterial infections, including listeria, campylobacter, salmonella, brucella and E. coli. Many supporters of raw milk claim there are health benefits from the natural factors in milk that disappear during the pasteurization process; however, numerous data show that pasteurized milk provides the same nutritional benefits as raw milk, without the risk of life-threatening infections.

The risks associated with consuming raw milk are particularly high for pregnant women and their fetuses, as well as for young children. Some of these infections can ultimately cause miscarriage and stillbirths in pregnant women, as well as meningitis and blood-borne infections in both young infants and pregnant women.

I support the position that pregnant women, infants and children should not consume raw milk and should only have pasteurized milk and milk products.