Breast Milk - The New Liquid Gold?
Living in an era where the benefits of breast milk are better understood than ever before, demand for breast milk has reached an all time high, and now new mothers who are fortunate to produce vast amounts of breast milk are cashing in.
Desiree Espinoza had a 2-month-old baby girl but was pumping out enough breast milk to feed triplets, and as the new mothers freezer filled with zip lock baggies full of the breast milk, and her kitchen table continued to be buried in unpaid bills, the resourceful young mother decided to see if it was legal to cash in on her abundance of breast milk, knowing very well that a lot of women struggle to produce any milk at all for their new born.
What Desiree found online was a site similar to the website craigslist; but instead of soliciting used cars and furniture, the site offered a selection of human breast milk. The site infamously named, Only the Breast deals in human breast milk, had listings and posts from hundreds of new mothers eager to turn their surplus breast milk into profits.
Many kick off with a chirpy headline (“Chubby baby milk machine!”), then follow with a snapshot of their own robust infant and lush descriptions (“rich, creamy breast milk!” “fresh and fatty!”), making a primal source of nutrition sound like a New York cheesecake. The posts are additionally categorized to appeal to a variety of milk seekers, based on a baby's age (from 0 to 12 months), say, or special dietary restrictions (dairy- and gluten-free). There's also a sort of “anything goes” section for women willing to sell to men. Some ship coolers of frozen milk packed in dry ice. Others deal locally, meeting in cafés to exchange cash for commodity. The asking price on Only the Breast runs $1 to $2.50 an ounce. (A 6-month-old baby consumes about 30 ounces a day.)
Intrigued, Espinoza tapped out her sales pitch: “Mostly organic raised breast milk. I have over 500 oz saved and I need to get rid of it. During the week I only eat organic.” A few days later, she was in business, selling the milk at $2 an ounce to a couple of customers in the Phoenix area where she lives, including a mother with a newborn and a man who claimed breast milk helped his immune disorder. “There's no way I could get a job with an infant, so this helps pay for diapers and clothes,” she says. In three months, the 19-year-old college student earned enough to buy a new laptop and the dress she wore to her wedding to the baby's 22-year-old father, a recent college grad. She plans to continue selling for a year, and if she can pump a steady 30 ounces a day, she could take in about $20,000.
The overall benefit of feeding babies breast milk instead of formula has been well established. In 2007, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a report showing that babies who are formula-fed instead of breast-fed are at an increased asthma risk factor, acute ear infections, diarrhea, and SIDS. 1 The advantages of feeding breast milk to babies are touted by some to be lifelong, potentially lowering the odds of obesity and boosting IQ by as much as 5 points.
If you are a new mother who is struggling with producing breast milk for your baby, this may be a great solution to ensure that your baby still gets all of the benefits from all natural breast milk; however a lot of women will buy Domperidone medication, which has a side effect of lactation. So be sure to speak with your family doctor before you hit the computer to buy “off sales” breast milk.
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