A mum sold brownies at the bake sale at her children’s school. The secret ingredient – her own breast milk! One of the other mums found out about it and decided she would not keep quiet. So, the baker mum turned to Facebook for advice. Little did she know the uproar it would cause!
The post was picked up by a Sanctimommy, a Facebook page and was posted anonymously.
Apparently, her reasons for doing so were
- She ran out of milk
- Time was also running out, so she could not buy some
- She thought that the children could use some nutrition anyway!
Since last week, this has elicited more than a thousand comments. And as expected, most of them are against the stealthy baker mum. While some commented sensibly about the perils of using untested breast milk in food, some others were plain rude!
The cause of uproar
There are some real dangers of consuming untested breast milk.
To start with, a lot of molecules get secreted in the breast milk, including a few medicines, hormones, antibodies, not to mention, narcotics. In addition, viruses like HIV could be passed on to the baby through breastmilk.
Secondly, the reason given by the mother does not sound genuine. She used breast milk because she was out of milk and had no time to buy some. In addition, she used her breast milk thinking that the children could use some nutrition. Well, they were school-going children. Breastmilk was not going to provide them with any additional nutrition. In fact, weaning after 6 months is necessary as the breast milk cannot provide all the nutrients for the baby.
And this is the reason why even the USFDA recommends against feeding your baby breast milk obtained directly from an individual. The guidelines say
“When human milk is obtained directly from individuals or through the Internet, the donor is unlikely to have been adequately screened for infectious disease or contamination risk. In addition, it is not likely that the human milk has been collected, processed, tested or stored in a way that reduces possible safety risks to the baby.”
Lastly, as someone pointed out, she could have just used a milkless recipe for the brownies! Here is a nondairy, nut-free recipe for brownies for someone with lactose intolerance and/or allergies.
What to do with your spare breast milk
Mums, if you have a freezer stash that is about to expire, there are more constructive ways to use it than use it stealthily in such bake sales.
- Donate it. There are breast milk banks that need your contribution. The milk is screened, stored properly, and is dispensed to the infants in need.
- Safe recipes for your baby. There is little evidence of preservation of nutrition of the breast milk when used in cooking. However, using it safely is better than throwing it away. You can use a bit of breast milk to help you wean your baby. As cow’s milk is not recommended before the child turns 1, you can substitute it in recipes. Just make sure that you were not taking any medicines when it was expressed.
- Milk baths. As a last resort, you can give your baby a breast milk bath. The fat content in the milk acts as a moisturiser. If nothing else, you baby will come out of the bath looking radiant!
Mums, what do you think about what the baker mum did?