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Tastes good with chocolate syrup
March 25, 2004 7:34 PM   Subscribe

Just what does breast milk taste like, anyway?
posted by Space Coyote (65 comments total)

 
That is just wrong on so many levels, but hey, at least it was pumped out.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 7:39 PM on March 25, 2004


It only counts if you drink it directly from the source.

WHAT?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:39 PM on March 25, 2004


His description of the taste (pre adding chocolate) is sport-on, by the way,
posted by dg at 7:40 PM on March 25, 2004


-3 points for thinking of the idea in the first place, but +several infinity for thinking of adding chocolate. Great read!
posted by yhbc at 7:40 PM on March 25, 2004


Bizarre that this makes my stomach turn. My wife and I have a six-month-old, and an acquaintance asked the other day if I had tasted the milk. "Egads, no!" I thought. I didn't actually say "Egads", as that would also have been bizarre.
posted by quarantine at 7:41 PM on March 25, 2004


Um, I mean spot-on, of course
posted by dg at 7:41 PM on March 25, 2004


*cue beth with her story about trying to make pudding*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:44 PM on March 25, 2004


I'd go for a pair of 1 gallon canteens myself! HOO YEA!
posted by shepd at 7:45 PM on March 25, 2004


So breast milk... with chocolate syrup... tastes like Yoo-Hoo. Yet another innovation in science.
posted by abcde at 7:50 PM on March 25, 2004


My god that's funny. I had no idea guys had hang ups about breast milk.

Fear me and my awesome lactating power!
posted by dejah420 at 7:57 PM on March 25, 2004


Yeah, I don't get why people are squeamish about breast milk either. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty grossed out by it too, I just don't understand why.
posted by psmealey at 8:00 PM on March 25, 2004


I have no fear of lactating women, as I have three children, and a wife that overproduced. It was kinda weird watching her pump using the machine, or just go stand in the shower and relieve the pressure, though. Not something to inspire fear. Well, not until I moo'd at her. No sharp objects nearby, or I'd not be here now....
posted by dwivian at 8:04 PM on March 25, 2004


pshaw. Wait til you've tried placenta. Now that's an experience I'll never forget.
posted by horsewithnoname at 8:06 PM on March 25, 2004


Perhaps because it seems like "body fluid", most varieties of which one would not normally drink?

Funny - this made me think of the closing paragraphs of the Grapes of Wrath, which when I read them at the age of sixteen first shocked and then moved me inexpressibly.
posted by orange swan at 8:08 PM on March 25, 2004


Bodily excretions combined with a slight whiff of cannibalism. What's not to like?
posted by 4easypayments at 8:10 PM on March 25, 2004


let's Ask the Experts. (every new father i've ever known has tasted it--most people are curious about it, i think.)
posted by amberglow at 8:12 PM on March 25, 2004


What's bad about breast milk? It's warm, it's not pasteurized and if it comes from someone you've had sex with, there are mental connections that are just illogical enough to creep out the average male.
posted by wendell at 8:12 PM on March 25, 2004


I, as a male, am not averse to the idea of drinking breast milk. I wouldn't seek it out, but it's not an offensive idea. Well, actually, a shot glass of it would be, but smaller doses, nah :P
posted by abcde at 8:18 PM on March 25, 2004


It tastes like chicken.
posted by Nelson at 8:23 PM on March 25, 2004


It is with some sadness that I must tell you that some people (particularly in the north of England) think that Scotch and milk is an acceptable drink for adults. However, such is the case, and so I was once told a mildly amusing story by a friend involving his breastfeeding wife, a jug in the fridge, and the drunken poker buddies pouring it in their whisky by mistake.

And yeah, what dg and amberglow said.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:28 PM on March 25, 2004


Fear me and my awesome lactating power!

*whimpers*

I'd never really thought about it before, but now that I have, I think I'd be fine trying a sip from a cup or something, but directly from the source would make me feela little squirmy. Not sure why. I'd still give it a go, though.

Interesting to probe your own boundaries and try to find the point at which one starts to go 'yuck'. The problem might be when some people discover that they just don't have any, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:55 PM on March 25, 2004


I think I'd be fine trying a sip from a cup or something, but directly from the source would make me feela little squirmy.

Maybe the fear of coming across as being a baby might make you (or me) a little squirmy. Nobody needs their significant other to take up a mothering role in such a, well...mothering manner, do they? Do they?

Now, on the other hand, turning it all into sexual fun is a different story, unless the idea suddenly turns into some sort of Oedipal morality play and psychological mumbo jumbo becomes the order of the day and you start questioning your sanity and what was mother really doing that time in her walk in closet and why were you wearing her bra and nothing else and yeah, it wouldn't be so bad if it only happened once but it actually happened a lot more than once and you enjoyed it but you really didn't but actually, you did, you sick little pervert.

Um, yeah, anyway, breast milk from the source could possibly make a person squeamish.
posted by ashbury at 9:16 PM on March 25, 2004


Nippletini

Genius!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:37 PM on March 25, 2004


?? Why is this a big deal ??

I'd bet (or at least hope) that a significant number of you have already drunk deeply of human milk at some (much earlier) point in your life....

Or, put another way, why are so many people getting gicked out at a food they would, in fact, prefer to serve to their newborn child?
posted by anastasiav at 10:41 PM on March 25, 2004


Wait til you've tried placenta. Now that's an experience I'll never forget.

Placenta Recipes
posted by anastasiav at 10:44 PM on March 25, 2004


Don’t really see the big deal but I have only had it direct from the source. Does seem a bit odd to drink it from a glass though.
posted by arse_hat at 10:48 PM on March 25, 2004


anastasiav, that's one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen.
posted by greasepig at 11:06 PM on March 25, 2004


why are so many people getting gicked out at a food they would, in fact, prefer to serve to their newborn child?
I suspect that it is not so much the food itself, but a fear of connecting one of the most beautiful things nature has created (breast-feeding) with one of the other beautiful things nature has created (breasts as an object of sexual desire and drool). Either one of these is fine in isolation, but men like to keep the two functions separate in their minds and any suggestion of combining the two makes this difficult.
posted by dg at 11:12 PM on March 25, 2004


Here's a thought:
Adult male aversion to breast milk has evolved to ensure that breast milk reaches their intended consumer, i.e. infants.
posted by spazzm at 11:25 PM on March 25, 2004


Adult male aversion to breast milk has evolved to ensure that breast milk reaches their intended consumer, i.e. infants.

Nuh-uh, it doesn't say that in the Bible.
posted by wigu at 11:27 PM on March 25, 2004


Speaking as a woman who lactated, breast milk freaked -me- out. Imagine, living all of your life with perfectly leakless breasts, and then one day, they sprout fountains of milk. Breast pads, accidents that left my shirts and the bed soaking wet, it was not a pleasant experience.

Despite the contingent of people yammering about how, if I truly loved my child, I'd breast feed her, I switched to formula. I think the guilt of statements like that from family, friends, and hospital staff are designed to get a female over and past the sheer freakiness of sprouting never ending fountains of milk from her chest. In the realm of ejaculations and where to eject them from, men really got the better end of the bargain.

uhm so yeah, I myself have tasted it and was repulsed. I suppose the main difference is that I was *raised* on milk from cow teats, under the near-daily assumption that it's where the milk is supposed to come from. Only during the occasional sex-ed class did they point out it'd be possibly coming from mine one day. They really should prepare us better.

...Also, weird sweet taste to it. Chocolate. Urgh, god.
posted by precocious at 12:16 AM on March 26, 2004


That's pretty funy, precocious.
posted by spazzm at 12:57 AM on March 26, 2004


What gets me is the fact that mother's milk grosses us out, but cow's milk, now that's yummy stuff. Living with my vegan gf for a year and a half has begun to undo some of my long-settled comfort in chowing down on animal parts and fluids. It's all a matter of not thinking about it, and it's pretty ingrained, from an early age. We all enjoy a little cream in the coffee and think nothing of it, but anyone here who actually gets down on their knees and takes it out of a cow's udder gets a six pack on me. Whew.

oh, and please provide pictures, and be sure to wear only pink sequined tighty-whiteys, cowboy boots, and a ten-gallon hat.
posted by scarabic at 1:50 AM on March 26, 2004


This reminds me of the best problem page letter I ever saw. A mother wrote in to say that her 7-year old son was off to cub scout camp for a week but that she was unsure what to do to feed him as he was still being breastfed.
posted by biffa at 2:44 AM on March 26, 2004


spazzms theory sounds very plausable.

dwivian you nutter! you moo'd at her? heh!
posted by dabitch at 3:03 AM on March 26, 2004


Human breast milk is obviously a very healthy alternative to cows milk. It is also an 'allowed' food for vegans if it is produced with the mother's consent. Some women produce more milk than one child can consume at times, this leaves the option of using the excess milk of throwing it away.
Wet nurse anyone?
The process of extracting and consuming cows milk parasitically is far more disturbing, unless one is enured to it via the accepted societal norms of our *somewhat perverse* society.
Of course the cows also gain something from the symbiotic relationship, being one of the few species whose numbers are increasing rather than decreasing.
posted by asok at 3:48 AM on March 26, 2004


Applying the logic of consumption of bodily fluids to the spit vs swallow scenario, they both *totally* gross me out.

As for human breast milk, never tried it, but it would seem a matter of psychology more than anything else. Like adding bugs to your diet.
posted by yoga at 4:09 AM on March 26, 2004


Breast feeding is not just for women anymore, though...
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:14 AM on March 26, 2004


Let me tell you, it makes lousy coffee creamer.
posted by tommasz at 5:04 AM on March 26, 2004


Won't somebody think of the children!

Get to the back of the queue, adults.
posted by SpaceCadet at 5:30 AM on March 26, 2004


Despite the contingent of people yammering about how, if I truly loved my child, I'd breast feed her, I switched to formula.

They say that it's only the colostrum that's really most important to the newborn anyway. (biased link there, but i think the facts are true.) It's so funny how public opinion has swung over toward breastfeeding--most of us weren't even breastfed ourselves as infants. And so many women have to go back to work way before they've finished breastfeeding, given how short maternity leaves are.
posted by amberglow at 5:46 AM on March 26, 2004


I was *raised* on milk from cow teats

Chilled, lactated liquid, from fur-bearing, hoofed mammals - yum yum!
posted by LowDog at 6:03 AM on March 26, 2004


I am amazed she was able to pump so MUCH. . .

I have tried it from 3 different women. . .one of them the mother of my child. . .but only in small amounts.

I wonder how well it would foam. . . that would truly be the new frontier with this. . .a breast milk latte. . .
posted by Danf at 6:45 AM on March 26, 2004


What disturbed me the most about the original post was the fact the guy was drinking expressed milk. Milk that his wife pumped out for his son's future consumption. Now, I don't know about his wife, but pumping was a long, agonizing process for me (cheap pump) and if some adult had come along and casually sipped it as an experiment I would have gone ballistic.

Drink all the on-tap stuff you want, but leave the bottled stuff alone!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:58 AM on March 26, 2004


LowDog>> I especially love a glass of it in the morning, with my processed pig flesh and unfertilized chicken embryos. Mm mm m.

amber>> while I was recuperating from three days of an agonizing "induced labor," these women came around and all but bullied me into breast feeding. They were, to put it kindly, the PETA-meets-NRA of breastfeeding. I believe they were representatives of that group there. That said, they didn't point out that the first few days, maybe weeks, are perhaps the best. Even so, I managed to stick it out for close to a month before the constant pain and discomfort (and lingering freaked-out-ness) saw me switch over.

scarabic>> point being that many of us weren't breast-fed, many of us weren't constantly around someone who breast-fed, and many of us will never have milk-filled tits. It's being touted as natural (thus, we shouldn't be disturbed by it), but surely by any statistics, cows are getting milked more than mothers.

To be honest, I'd rather have a parasitic relationship with a cow than another lactating human being. If, for some inexplicable reason, our sole source of milk suddenly became other women, I'd go soy and never turn back.

Danf>> Hate to say it son, but you unnerve me.
posted by precocious at 7:01 AM on March 26, 2004


Now someone just needs to make some cheese.
posted by Tenuki at 7:05 AM on March 26, 2004


I wonder how well it would foam. . . that would truly be the new frontier with this. . .a breast milk latte. . .

I can't believe it's not... Cool Whip!
posted by LowDog at 7:21 AM on March 26, 2004


My brother, ah, accidentally tasted breast milk from the woman he was dating, who happened to have a one-year-old. He now calls her the Milkmaid.
posted by kgasmart at 7:33 AM on March 26, 2004


... pumping was a long, agonizing process for me (cheap pump) and if some adult had come along and casually sipped it as an experiment I would have gone ballistic.

The new double-pumps are awesome and easy. Just hook everything up, turn it on, and read for a few minutes or something. One of my girlfriends had half of her freezer devoted to little storage bags of expressed milk. I know her hubby had some--she probably did have enough on hand to make cheese!

... these women came around and all but bullied me into breast feeding

I am sorry that you had such a bad experience. I think people get militant because of the things some of the formula companies do to push their product (you probably received a free diaper bag or something full of formula samples during your stay in the hospital, right? I find that type of marketing even more offensive than the militant breastfeeding advocates.) Dooce had an entry about breastfeeding and the boobification of one's life just a few days ago.
posted by whatnot at 7:43 AM on March 26, 2004


When I worked as a bartender one of the lady bartenders was lactating and kept bags of her milk in the fridge. It was all I could do not to start making "special" white Russians.
posted by Cyrano at 9:21 AM on March 26, 2004


Every study on breast-feeding has, I believe, shown that breast-fed children are healthier, develop quicker, and perform better than formula-fed children.

I do not believe there are any reputable studies that show otherwise.

As an adult, I find milk -- human or cow -- is disgusting at the best of times.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:54 AM on March 26, 2004


The reason why some people are "militant" about breastfeeding is that, well, to sum it up bluntly, formula-fed children are sick more, and die more. This is more pronounced in the third world, but even here in America this is true. (Oh yeah, they also have lower IQs, if you care about such things)

Breastmilk is amazingly evolved to meet a baby's needs, and processed cow's milk (or soy "milk") + additives in a powder just doesn't really compare. I mean, it's better than letting the kid starve, but that's about it.

I honestly cannot comprehend how a mother who knows that breastfeeding is the best thing possible for her baby can decide to feed something nowhere near as good. I guess they rationalize it somehow, and many paint breastfeeding supporters as "bullies" to bolster their position.

Often, sadly, people give up breastfeeding because of difficulties that could have been resolved with a good lactation consultant or help from La Leche League.

Lactating was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life (even though I had to work through some serious difficulties and pain at first). Nothing can beat the closeness and contentment, and for a lazy person like me, being able to roll over in the middle of the night and feed my baby without hardly having to move was great.

I pumped for a full year, and nursed my daughter til she was almost two. Let me tell you, mighty boobie can calm a crying toddler better than anything else. And when they're old enough to be running around bonking into things, it typically takes just a few seconds of nursing to make them right as rain.

I haven't officially lactated for three years, but I can still produce a few drops of milk. I hope when I have grandchildren that I will be able to nurse them.

I am a person who probably would be dead if she hadn't been breastfed, btw. I had viral pneumonia as a baby, and I am sure the antibodies and other immune system boosters my mother gave me helped me fight it.

I feel sad for all the kids who aren't breastfed. They are not given a chance to live up to their full potential, usually for reasons that could be fixed.

As crash mentioned, I tried to make pudding from some of my breastmilk, but it wouldn't coagulate or whatever. Next time I get a chance, I'll try fresher milk, and I'll also test out the cheese thing.
posted by beth at 10:11 AM on March 26, 2004


Yay Beth! I'm the daughter of a lactation consultant and La Leche League Leader. This may have contributed to my desire to never have children, but if I ever do I'd definitely breast feed.

Here's another nursing tidbit: When babies feed at their mother's breasts, some of the child's saliva is absorbed by the woman. On some probably not-yet-explained by science level the mother's body interprets information for the baby's saliva and adapts to the child's needs, providing more or less fat and different nutrients in the milk. Newborns generally need more fat, for example. As healthy babies develop, their mothers produce less fatty breastmilk. But sickly older babies will continue to get fatty breast milk if it's what they need.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 10:24 AM on March 26, 2004


i saw some breast-milk cheese at the museum of modern art (in its temporary queens location) in 2002. my google search for "museum of modern art 'breast milk' cheese" turned up a self-link, but i didn't find much else.

it's a shame i didn't take a photo of the cheese itself, which was inside a little glass-fronted refrigerator. if i remember correctly, it looked like brie. anil was with me, and he knew one of the women who was listed as a milk donor. he called her up and said, "hey, i saw your breast-milk cheese at the museum!"
posted by bluishorange at 10:38 AM on March 26, 2004


On some probably not-yet-explained by science level the mother's body interprets information for the baby's saliva and adapts to the child's needs, providing more or less fat and different nutrients in the milk.

Whoa! I can't get past the sophistication of that little biological trick.
posted by orange swan at 10:50 AM on March 26, 2004


Whenever I hear "La Leche League," I keep getting this image of those male midgets in the Wizard Of Oz singing their song, then ripping open their shirts to reveal boobs.

I need to lie down.
posted by jonmc at 12:34 PM on March 26, 2004


many paint breastfeeding supporters as "bullies" to bolster their position.

No, actually, they were just bullies. There would have been a difference between women who sat down and, in an intellectual manner, described to me the benefits of breast feeding versus formula feeding.

They did not ask to enter my room, they knocked and then walked in. They did not leave a number or address to a support group, in fact, they did not leave until I'd whipped out a tit and popped it into my daughter's mouth. I'm sure they would've, but marked discomfort, unease and illness (I'd developed some sort of infection and was on a drip that gave me 'flu like symptoms') on my behalf sure didn't make them go; maybe I should've picked up something heavy and thrown it at them. To take it a step further, they informed her father to make sure I kept doing it, as it was in his daughter's best interests.

And then? They took the free carry bag of formula (which also had a bulb syringe, rattle, ointment, samples and coupons) that the hospital gave me with them. Not only did they bully me, but they stole my stuff.

I honestly cannot comprehend how an organization can foster a mother's worst fears while telling them in no uncertain terms, "If you do not breast feed your child, you do not love them." I guess they rationalize those tactics somehow, and many paint women who hate the process (or fail experience any warm, important, self-justifying "mother earth" sensations) as selfish, unloving, and unconcerned.
posted by precocious at 2:12 PM on March 26, 2004


I was initially breastfed but by the time I was 6 months old I stopped being able to keep it down. Yay cow's milk.
posted by biffa at 3:30 PM on March 26, 2004


Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it, precocious (and no one should be scaring a new mother anyway--isn't it scary enough?) And unless you fed it a broken-glass, battery-acid, and hillbilly heroin cocktail, I'm sure your kid got the nutrients it needed. : >
posted by amberglow at 4:00 PM on March 26, 2004


They took the free carry bag of formula (which also had a bulb syringe, rattle, ointment, samples and coupons) that the hospital gave me with them

Just to be clear, that was a gift from the formula company, not the hospital. The other stuff is useful, sure, but the intent on the part of the formula company is to simultaneously undermine the breastfeeding relationship and gain your trust, so you will spend the next year or so buying their product(s).

I don't approve of the tactics of those who took your bag away--I agree that they are bullies--but at least they are telling the truth.
posted by whatnot at 5:39 PM on March 26, 2004


*punches Nelson in the arm*
posted by NortonDC at 5:58 PM on March 26, 2004


precocious, you're not alone...I too ran into what my husband and I nicknamed the "Nipple Nazi's". And I planned on breastfeeding, as soon as I didn't have morphine coursing through my bloodstream. I had the ones who "visited" me severely chastised and they were forced to return all the diaper bags they'd confiscated from all the mothers.
posted by dejah420 at 9:09 PM on March 26, 2004


I am sickened to hear this. Women who don't breastfeed are not monsters or women who don't love their kids. It doesn't make much difference one way or the other, in a developed country. Get a grip.
posted by agregoli at 10:05 AM on March 30, 2004


It does make a difference. Read the studies.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:00 PM on March 30, 2004


FFF is right, the choice of breast over bottle absolutely makes a difference, an important one, regardless of where in the world you live.

But the actions of these supposed pro-lactation types that precocious and dejah encountered were absolutely wrong. Breastfeeding should be an act of love and nurturing, and they were turning into an act of fear and obligation. It's a wholly backwards approach to take if their goal is to support those who have chosen to nurse, encourage those who are on the fence and attempt to persuade those who are leaning toward artificial baby milk.

To take their tack via unrequested "consultations" with women who have just endured a hospital birth, who are exhausted, in pain and suffused with a flood of new and unfamiliar hormones is simply sadistic. It's one thing to joke about being a member of the Militant Breastfeeding Cult (something which has a specific definition, btw) but it's another thing altogether to be, well, a nipple nazi. The latter set back the kind, professional and supportive work of La Leche and board certified lactation consultants in dreadful, destructive ways.
posted by Dreama at 1:29 PM on March 30, 2004


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