Breast milk helps build a baby’s burgeoning immune system, and the act of breastfeeding establishes emotional attachment. And, frankly, mammals are built for it. So why is there always so much controversy surrounding the issue? Some women have blamed the sexualization of breasts for the pushback they receive when they breastfeed their babies in public. Others have harshly judged and criticized mothers who choose formula over breast milk. Even COVID-19 and COVID vaccines have drawn a spotlight: the virus is not passed to babies through breast milk, but antibodies from the vaccine are. Every few years, a new debate about breast milk emerges. These are some of the most notable.
10 I Scream. You Scream. We All Scream About Breast Milk Ice Cream
Im Jahr 2011 führte ein Londoner Geschäft Eiscreme mit menschlicher Muttermilch ein. The Icecreamists kreierten “Baba Gaga” mit der Muttermilch von mehr als einem Dutzend Frauen. Das Gebräu aus Vanille und Zitronenschale kostete etwa 22,50 US-Dollar pro Portion und war innerhalb weniger Tage ausverkauft.
Die Icecreamists rekrutierten Muttermilchspenderinnen mit einer Internetanzeige und sagten, dass alle Milch “gemäß den Anforderungen von Krankenhäusern/Blutspendern [auf Viren und Verunreinigungen] untersucht wurde”. Der Gründer des Ladens sagte: “Sie ist rein, sie ist natürlich, sie ist biologisch und sie ist aus Freilandhaltung – und wenn sie gut genug für unsere Kinder ist, dann ist sie auch gut genug, um in unserem Eis verwendet zu werden.”
Aber Beamte des Westminster Councils waren besorgt, dass Baba Gaga eine Gesundheitsbedrohung darstellen könnte. “Der Verkauf von Lebensmitteln, die aus den Körperflüssigkeiten einer anderen Person hergestellt wurden, kann dazu führen, dass Viren weitergegeben werden und in diesem Fall möglicherweise Hepatitis”, sagte ein Ratsmitglied.
Die Icecreamists nannten die Bedenken des Rates “völligen Unsinn” und sagten, “wenn das Eis nicht sicher ist, dann stellen diese Mütter ein ernsthaftes Risiko für ihre Babys dar.
Im Jahr 2015 tat sich die Stillverfechterin Victoria Hiley mit den Licktators zusammen, um das Produkt zu Ehren des bevorstehenden königlichen Babys neu zu lancieren. “Es soll zeigen, wie köstlich Muttermilch ist, egal wie alt man ist”, so Hiley. Würden Sie sie essen?
9 Jury Duty Trumps Mother’s Desire to Breastfeed
A Hampshire woman can delay her jury duty at Winchester Crown Court for 12 months, but she says that’s not long enough. Zoe Stacey asked to be excused from duty while she breastfeeds her now two-month-old son, and she had hoped to do so for longer than a year.
The Central Jury Summons Office denied the request, and Stacey appealed, saying, “I have the strangest thing about being able to breastfeed as long as I can and not wanting to leave him for the next year. I think they need to be more compassionate.” The appeal is being considered by a judge at Winchester Crown Court. HM Courts and Tribunals Service said, “Crown Court practice is to defer new mothers who are breastfeeding. We are investigating the facts of this case.”
8 Moms Utilize Facebook to Farm Out Surplus Breast Milk
The Eats on Feet’s campaign started on Facebook when a breastfeeding mother wanted to find a way to use her excess milk. She joined forces with like-minded activists, and the movement spread to every continent, including Antarctica! It describes itself as a “worldwide network for those who have made the informed decision to share breast milk.”
Shell Walker Luttrell, a midwife from Phoenix, Arizona, designed the original Facebook page in 2010. “Hey, why don’t we just become wet nurses,” she told her breastfeeding friends, “instead of Meals on Wheels, we can call ourselves Meals on Feet.”
But the U.S. FDA explains that using “donor breast milk” is risky business. “Risks to the baby include exposure to infectious diseases, including HIV; to chemical contaminants, such as some illegal drugs; to a limited number of prescription drugs that could be in the breast milk if the donor has not been adequately screened,” the FDA website states. “In addition, if not handled and stored properly, breast milk could become contaminated and unsafe to drink as at any time of milk.”
The FDA prefers that those interested in breast milk sharing use the Human Milk Banking Association of North America as a good source of information and contacts.
7 Celebrity Dads Import Breast Milk
Dad couples aren’t equipped to breastfeed, so what do they do when they think “breast is best”? For celebrity couples like Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, it helps to be wealthy. In 2010, the parents welcomed twins via surrogacy and became concerned when a baby showed agitation from gastrointestinal problems. After experimenting with different formulas, they decided to source breast milk for them.
“You have to have breast milk shipped in,” Harris said in an interview. “If someone is pumping, extra milk has to go to San Jose and then be pasteurized and then come back to you. I think it’s a racket!” The actor complained that even if his neighbor wanted to donate milk, she had to jump through hoops. “If someone is in Santa Monica, on the street, and they want to deliver milk, they have to get on a plane to San Jose,” he explained. “And they charge a fortune – it costs more for breast milk than sushi!”
Sir Elton John and David Furnish did the same. Their son’s surrogate (and biological mother) pumped breast milk into the U.S. and sent it to the U.K. via Fed-Ex. Celebrity couples can easily afford this luxury. But with most milk banks charging about $4 per ounce – that’s more than $100 per day for a hungry newborn – importing breast milk is not an option for the average parent.
6 Actress Donates Breast Milk to Drug-Addicted Infant
When Jenna Elfman’s first son was born, she found she didn’t know what the first thing about breastfeeding was. “I had zero education about breastfeeding before I gave birth to my first son, I didn’t know there was anything to learn about breastfeeding,” she said. “I put the baby on the breast and they sucked and that was it.”
When she couldn’t get her own son to latch on, Elfman decided to formula feed him. But the actress put her pumped breast milk to good use when a friend of a friend gave birth to a methamphetamine-addicted baby who was unable to hold his formula. “Once a week, my friend would come over to get a supply,” the actress said. “When the baby started the second that had breast milk, he was able to hold it. All the rash symptoms on his body started to go away. I literally kept him alive for several months.”
5 Police Officer Breastfeeds Another Woman’s Baby
In 2018, policewoman Celeste Jaqueline Ayala was on a patrol at a children’s hospital in Berisso, Argentina, when she heard the screams of a hungry baby. Ayala had recently become a mother herself and immediately recognized the baby’s plight. She simply sat down on a chair outside the hospital ward and fed the infant in full police uniform. Hospital officials said the baby had just been taken from his mother and had not been fed by staff.
The policeman’s partner photographed the moment and shared it on Facebook, writing: ‘I want to make this great gesture of love you showed today with this baby public.’ The post quickly went viral and was published by news agencies around the world. Amazingly, this happened on August 14, which is the “National Day of the Female Officer” in Argentina.
Actress Salma Hayek made similar headlines when she was on a goodwill trip to Sierra Leone in 2009. The country has the highest infant mortality rate in the world – one in five children die before their fifth birthday – and malnutrition is a big factor. Doctors there told the actress that they would like mothers to breastfeed for two years, but tradition makes this difficult. Most mothers quit after just a few months because their husbands are under pressure and they are forbidden to have sexual relations with a breastfeeding woman.
A video clip shows Hayek breastfeeding a hungry little boy who was born on the same day as her own one-year-old daughter. The actress said she did this to reduce the stigma imposed on women for breastfeeding – especially breastfeeding babies older than a few months.
A blogger on EW.com called Hayek cool, “because her left breast has now done more for humanity in a few minutes than I have done in my entire life.”
4 Breast Milk Sets Off Explosives Alarm
In 2017, a Birtney Shawstad told security officials that she was traveling with breast milk and was instructed to place the container in her own safety container for screening. Breast milk raised an alarm when it was tested for explosives. It was retested with the same result. Assuming that the container was the problem, Shawstad asked to have the milk examined in another container, but her request was rejected. She was forced to throw away the milk if she wanted to board the plane.
“I just started crying because I really didn’t know what to do,” the mother told reporters. “That was the food for my son.”
The TSA later apologized to the woman and said it would notify all TSA officials in Denver of screening oversized liquids, including breast milk.
A few years earlier, Delta Air Lines had come under criticism for refusing to let a breastfeeding mother on board with her milk pump. Flight attendants forced the woman to check in her luggage, which meant she was unable to pump for more than eight hours.
The airline apologized and said the company supports breastfeeding travelers. Delta fully supports a woman’s right to breastfeed onboard Delta and Delta Connection aircraft and in Delta facilities. Breast pumps are allowed on board.”
3 Supermodel Thinks There Should Be a Law About Breastfeeding
Gisele Bundchen is an outspoken celebrity, and becoming a mother did nothing to quell her abrasiveness. The supermodel (and wife of pro quarterback Tom Brady) angered women with comments made on Harper es Bazaar in 2010.
When asked how she regained her million-dollar pre-baby figure so quickly, Bundchen said, “I think breastfeeding really helped. Some people here think they don’t need to breastfeed, and I think, ‘Are you going to give your child chemical food when they’re this small?’ I think there should be a worldwide law that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.”
The Victoria es Secret model later walked back her bold remarks, expressing regret that her statement sounded so “black and white.”
2 Festival Goer Sprays Breast Milk Into Crowd
Just when you thought you’d seen it all. At the 2019 DirtyBird Campout in Southern California, an attractive blonde in a one-piece swimsuit, ball cap, sunglasses and red boots mingles with the rest of the 50,000 attendees. That is, until she whipped out her breasts and began spraying milk into the crowd. The multitasker twerked and sprayed at the same time, while a festival-goer tried to capture the milky shower in her open mouth.
1 Mother Breastfeeds Teenaged Son
Nicole Mullen is a big advocate of breastfeeding older children. And it seems she wants to lead by example! The unconventional mom was unbothered by stunned onlookers as she nursed her 13-year-old son while they waited in line for a movie. When the ticket taker yelled for the couple to stop, she replied, “I’m a mother, and I have every right to feed my child in public.”
Or maybe the woman is just looking for publicity with shock value: Mullen claims she has sexual desire for her son’s facial hair – yeah!