Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Got Milk?




















I got my boobs from my Dad.

I know that because I could fit one of my Mum's bras inside the cup of one of mine. Hell, right now I could probably fit my Mum in one cup.

Apparently my Dad's Mum famously said she could have nursed an entire ward full of babies. I appear to have inherited that trait. Without labouring too much on the size of my nursing rack for fear of attracting the wrong kind of traffic, I'll just leave you with the fact that Lucy put on a pound in eight days after birth. The poor thing opened her tiny infant mouth and was met with a torrent.

She inflated like a water balloon.

I have been very lucky to find breastfeeding pretty easy. The act itself that is, not the constant refrain from anyone holding Lucy which is 'err, I think she needs feeding'. Even Anna will give me an accusing look when Lucy so much as squeaks and yell 'Mom, Lucy needs a boob!'. The buck stops here when it comes to sating my child, which is both lovely and thoroughly time-consuming. It could be worse though. Boobing my infant comes naturally. Apparently, I was genetically programmed for it. My boobs were just itching for the opportunity to engorge, nurse, then shrivel and hang limply by my knee-caps for the rest of my life.

I know - how lucky am I?

I feel for people who try to breastfeed and, for whatever reason, are unable. Except that they probably still have perfect perky breasts. But, jaunty mammaries can be little consolation when faced with the parent-police. I should imagine that confessing to formula-feeding an infant at your local Mums' Group is tantamount to admitting you allow co-sleeping. Not for the faint of heart, but I'm entirely sympathetic to both (as an aside, LK gives Lucy straight formula for her midnight feed allowing me a blissful 6+ hours of sleep a night - more on that later).

What I don't understand is the idea of purchasing breast milk. Can the benefits of breast milk really outweigh the risks? How and why is this deemed necessary? Is it for cosmetic boob-preservation, or are there really babies who refuse all brands of formula (snobs). I thought the days of wet nurses were long gone, but apparently not. I even know of someone locally who buys breast milk for her child, although I'm not sure of the reason - but I will be checking her boobs for perkiness.

According to my research, the going rate is $3 an oz, and it may even be covered by your insurance?! I'm sure the donor/seller must have to undergo rigorous health checks first, because after all this is somebody else's bodily fluid that you're willingly feeding your child. Yet even with the proven health benefits of breast milk to an infant, the risks of using someone else's milk, screened or not, seem absurdly high.

And for the record, no, I'm not seriously considering selling my breast milk, even with the present economic climate and boobs like Krakatoa. After all, I tried donating blood over here a few years ago and was denied because of an FDA ruling against Brits and potential mad cow disease (how ironic, I can't sell my breast milk because I might be a mad cow). However, every time Lucy spits up I do glare at her and let her know exactly how many dollars of my hard-earned milk she has just wasted.

4 comments:

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Despite barely-an-A-cup boobs, I have been blessed with the ability to breastfeed both of my little ones - even with Cooper starting out life at 9+ pounds.

I never gave a thought to selling the stuff, but was given all of the contact information to the local milk bank after Quinn was born . . . apparently they happily accept milk from mothers who don't have babies to feed. In light of the recession, I wish I had looked into popping the stuff on E-Bay!

Trannyhead said...

I've heard of donating breastmilk, but I had no clue you could SELL it. Too bad my 9 and a half pounder took EVERYTHING I COULD MAKE and STILL needed formula in addition to whatever I could muster. WTF.

Hyphen Mama said...

My first nursing bra was an H cup. After the 2nd kid, it was ONLY a G cup. I know, that's luck if you ask me.

I actually looked into donating the huge excess amounts of my milk to a milk bank, but you had to be SUPER diligent about everything... like NO CAFFEINE. And I thought "Hey, my kid does just fine with some caffeine on-board...what can it hurt?" Then again, my kid didn't sleep through the night until 17 months. Hmmm, the pieces are starting to come together now.

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