Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Breastmilk Stunts

Have you heard about the latest breastmilk stunt? No, it's not making breastmilk ice cream or cheese. Nor is it a man trying to induce lactation. This week we've got the husband of a mom who pumps a ton of milk trying to see how long he can survive on breastmilk alone.

Meet Curtis and Katie. Katie is a doula, childbirth educator and CLE. She is the mom of three preemies (the youngest is 9 months old) and has become a pumping powerhouse. Because of this, she has a ton of milk stored in her freezer but no one to give it to. According to their new blog, Katie seems to have a philosophical issue with both non-profit milk banks (HMBANA) as well as the for-profit Prolacta banks. She says she tried to informally share her milk but couldn't find a family to accept the milk (she has donated over 10,000 ounces to another mom in the past). So instead her husband Curtis is going to attempt to live on breastmilk alone.

Apparently Curtis has some "digestive issues" and has consumed her breastmilk before, but now he is going to see how long he can maintain his weight of 185 pounds on nothing but Katie's milk. They claim they are not doing this for attention, but that they mentioned the idea to a friend who encouraged them to blog about the experience.

I honestly don't know how I feel about this. I know this couple feels like they are not "wasting" the milk by consuming it themselves, but it sure feels that way to me. I can understand having an issue with a Prolacta milk bank cashing in on your milk while you get nothing but the satisfaction of helping a baby in return, but why not donate to a HMBANA milk bank?

And what about the stunt factor? Do you think this helps to normalize breastfeeding or bring awareness to the issues surrounding milk donation? Or are most people just thinking "gross" and rolling their eyes when they hear about grown folks consuming breastmilk? And really, do we need anyone to tell us that even an adult can survive on breastmilk alone, at least for a time? Last year, Esquire magazine posed the question, "If a human being could only eat one food for an entire month, what should it be?" to a group of nutritionists (including my friend's dad!) and the overwhelming response was "Breastmilk."

So what do you think? Just the latest stupid stunt surrounding breastmilk or a way to educate the public on just how amazing breastmilk really is?

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