Drinking Breast Milk

I was half asleep and poured breast milk on my cereal….

by Joe Kita

Don’t worry. Breast milk is natural and healthful, and as long as it hasn’t been in the back of the fridge for a couple months, it won’t make you or your Rice Krispies go snap, crackle, boom. Other than being a bit watery (it’s 87 percent H2O), one cup contains approximately 172 calories, 17g carbohydrate, 11g fat (5g saturated), 3g protein, 34mg cholesterol, 42mg sodium and 17g sugar, which is not that far removed from whole cow’s milk. Where it differs, though, is in the substantial amount of vitamins, minerals, and especially antibodies it contains. These help fight bacteria and disease and boost immunity, which has led some people to advocate its use as a home remedy for everything from cuts and colds to cancer. This naturally raises the question: If you don’t mind the taste, and mom is producing more than baby needs, why not put it in your coffee, oatmeal, or work Thermos?

This is a controversial area. Some people consider it downright depraved and bordering on cannibalistic. Others, however, make cheese, ice cream, soap, and lotion out of their surplus, donate it to milk banks, or even sell it on the internet. In a few extreme examples of “home cooking,” the BBC reports a restaurant in China that featured it in a daily special and another in London that sold a breast-milk ice-cream dessert dubbed Baby Gaga.

If you want to be your own lab rat (and your wife doesn’t mind), by all means experiment to see if an occasional nip helps you shake a cold quicker or whether it just deposits fat rolls around your thighs. If you opt to drink it on draught, though, keep in mind that any germs you have could be transmitted to the little sucker.