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I think it's interesting that this story gets this reaction. There is nothing actually offensive going on here here, and yet the reaction is visceral.

The only reason this is any different than giving blood is that in this case, the hopeful life-giving fluid comes from the breast. But it's being expressed, so I actually see very little difference.

We know that breast milk contains the biggest and most complete set of antibiodies we can hope to give our babies. Doesn't it make some sense that there are disease-fighting properties we don't know about?

I would absolutely do this for any family member if I thought (and in fact if there was some proof, for which this woman went searching) that it was going to help them fight cancer. It's just expressing milk and putting it in the fridge. It's full of antibodies and it's so healthful and nutritious that scientists can't even analyze it completely.

The squeamish factor comes from the thought. A father drinking a daughter's breast milk. But what if a study was done that said that breast milk would help childhood leukemia patients? What if it was your own 12- or 14- or 22-year-old child? Would you pump breast milk for them if you believed the antibodies would help them fight the cancer better?

Of course you would. It would be a pretty quick trip from "ick" to "absolutely." Because the possibility of helping cure your family member's cancer would so override any first reaction that you'd get there in a nanosecond. You'd deal with the slight "ewww" factor in a hurry, I think. And so would I. For my mom, my sister, her kids, etc. It's just like donating blood.

Of course the line is drawn -- the breast milk would need to always be expressed. I share the "ewww" factor on the Little Britain skit...

April 24, 2009 - 6:25am


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