Sharing breastmilk is a topic that can be pretty heated. Many people feel strongly, for or against it. Also, contrary to the beliefs of many people, sadly some doctors included, there is never an age where breastmilk is not beneficial -- honestly, that'd be like saying that when you turn 23, broccoli is no longer good for you. Healthy food never stops being healthy food.
But, like many of my friends, I'm having a little bit of a hard time dealing with a story I just learned about. Katie is a mom who had preemies (now they are older) -- she's also a doula and childbirth educator and she has a huge stash of frozen milk. And I mean HUGE -- a whole upright freezerful with thousands of ounces.
Her husband Curtis has decided that he will drink the breastmilk, and eat or drink nothing else, as an experiment.
If you're like me, and many others, you're saying, "Why in the world won't they DONATE IT?" Well, they've written a few posts about it. Milk banks won't take it because it's older. They don't want people to have to pay out the nose for it from other places that would take it. They've had people with informal milk sharing ask THEM to pay shipping or wanted them to send medical records and get blood tests done (a reasonable request).
Their calculations have determined that he needs to drink 66 ounces daily to meet the 2,000-calorie daily intake a man of his size needs. He's done it for two days now, and has nothing but good things to say about it so far -- he didn't wake up starving like usual, doesn't feel overfull, and is totally satisfied.
But I just don't know. I know plenty of women on Human Milk 4 Human Babies and other sites who are willing to pay money to ship frozen milk to themselves, even though it is expensive. I also bet that with some determination, people would be willing to help find people locally who needed it as well. I just feel, like so many other people, that this is really a waste.
I mean, granted, I just wrote the other day about how breastmilk has amazing ingredients, many that we don't have the technology to recreate, and some can even help cure cancer. Some people on chemo drink it regularly. There was a man drinking his daughter's pumped milk when he had cancer. But this bugs me. I guess because it's being done because ... well ... I'm not really SURE why. Publicity? Just because they can? I don't know. If there's any substance that would be the least harmful for an adult to live on solely, it would be breastmilk, and maybe this could show that the health benefits of breastmilk never stop. But still.
I'm feeling torn. I want to just laugh at it, but I can't stop thinking about all the babies who could really use that milk. I'd love to help them find a local mom or three who wanted and needed that milk.
What do you think?
Image via Daquella manera/Flickr