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26.2.11

Tutti fruitti, mint choc chip, breast milk?



http://resources2.news.com.au/images/2011/02/25/1226011/686234-ice-cream.jpg


I’m sure I can’t be the only person to have blogged about this, or to have something to say about it.

From the start I’d like to point out:

1: I am very very pro breastfeeding, there was no decision to be made over whether or not any of my children would be breastfed or formula fed. (and luckily I have a husband who is also very pro breastfeeding)

2: I had a very painful first 8 days of breastfeeding with Charles; he was diagnosed at 4 days old with tongue tie which was due to be snipped 4 days after the diagnosis. It was a very tough and agonizing start to what I imagined to be an amazing experience but we got through it, without needing to mix feed or to express and give a bottle.

3: I accept that there could be issues with my children or with me that mean I may not be able to breastfeed (unable to latch, milk supply problems, medication etc) and that in case the only option for me will be to formula feed.

4: I would never tell a mum that she should NOT bottle feed. But at the same time, I can’t help but to not like seeing a young baby being fed with a bottle, but I’d never tell a mum she shouldn’t be doing it….and in fact there is more chance of me being told not to breastfeed than for a mum not to be told to bottle feed so I am not sorry for my opinion on this.

5: I don’t want to turn this into a breast vs formula debate :-)


When I first read about the plans for a restuarant to buy breast milk from mothers to make ice cream my first thoughts were “and?!”
In the back of a book I have which is about mothers (and one fathers!) breastfeeding experiences there is a recipe for breast milk ice cream. So it wasn’t entirely unheard of for me.
I then thought that there wasn’t such a big deal, breast milk really is no different to cows’ milk surely? Although part of me can understand peoples uncomfortable feelings toward tasting it and eating it, I hate the fact that people think of it as human waste rather than something which is naturally supposed to come out of our bodies to feed us (if that makes sense, not sure how to word it!)
Someone once said to me, when I stated that I tasted my own breast milk regularly (if I won’t eat/drink it myself then I won’t give it to my son is one of my “rules”) that it was like drinking my own wee. I was shocked by this comment and when the person was then asked to explain why they thought this, they stuttered and realised that maybe it wasn’t a good thing to say!

Anyway, through thinking about the breast milk ice cream further last night, I realised that actually, I’m not ok with it. I can understand that some mothers may want to sell it to make some pocket money, but I can’t help but think there their milk would be appreciated heaps more at a milk bank, hospital, special care unit etc. Wouldn’t there be more satisfaction for a mother knowing that her breast milk was helping a baby grow and stay alive, than to go towards some company trying a new recipe to get more customers through the door and make more profit?? I understand the mums are being offered £15 for every ten ounces of breast milk, which is a great amount of money but, for me, its priceless, and I’d rather give it away for free to a baby in need, than for £15 a bottle!
I also can’t help but think how much will go to waste. What will people order more of, chocolate ice cream or breast milk ice cream?  What if people order it and don’t like it? Then it thrown away and that milk is wasted. Ok it might only be an ounce but sometimes an ounce is that little bit that a baby needs.

As far as I am aware, through milk donation groups on Facebook, there are milk banks and mothers out there screaming for EBM for their babies, so some company coming along wanting to do something “extreme” for some promotion and to get their names out there is inappropriate and out of place. There should be MORE promotion for milk banks, and infact more milk banks set up, than for more ice cream parlours to offer breast milk ice cream.
I had a high supply of milk when feeding Charles. From what I can remember it wasn’t until 12 months, if not after that I eventually was able to give up wearing breastpads (which the majority of the time I had to double up because my supply was that high)
I strongly considered donating my milk to my local hospital but was never made aware of how to go about doing so, and wasn’t encouraged by midwives or health visitors who I mentioned this too. So was never able to donate.
It is definitely something I would consider this time though, and would look into a lot more, even if it means going to the hospital with the milk in a cool box and just handing it over!  Now I have seen the benefits of breast milk on my own son I feel stronger than I ever did that breast is best.
At around 2 weeks old Charles was on antibiotics for oral thrush. This was the only time in the time that he was breastfed that he ever needed antibiotics. He never suffered with ear infections, chest infections; unlike other friends of his (who were formula fed or mix fed) As soon as we stopped breastfeeding he picked up his first chest infection resulting in him being prescribed antibiotics! So the benefits are clear to see, and we are proof of that!

I’m not sure that adults eating breast milk ice cream is going to provide any benefits at all, whereas if donated to a hospital or milk bank, could essentially, save a babies life.