Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"It's like the movie 'Super-size Me' ... only with breastmilk."*

(* Headline by Emma K., from her FB feed)

He already looks kind of "super sized"

The man on the right is Curtis, a first-time dad. The woman on the left is Katie, mother of Curtis' child (her third) and a doula, childbirth educator, and lactation educator.

As a publicity stunt to promote the health benefits of human breastmilk, the two of them are embarking on a public experiment: to see how long Curtis can survive eating nothing but Katie's milk. They are documenting it on a blog called "Don't Have a Cow, Man!"

Some people will be instantly repulsed by this project. Others, perhaps, a little titillated. But Curtis insists it's just a natural thing to do with all the excess frozen milk Katie banked (but won't need now) in case her premature baby was unable to nurse.

"I grew up in a very rural area, on a mostly self sufficient farm/ranch surrounded by all manner of animals. Pigs, sheep, goats, horses, cattle, and chickens not to mention all of the wildlife on the property.  I was raised around the birth and rearing of animals. We had milk cows and milking goats the milk of which I have drank fresh and unprocessed as it is intended. We also butchered all of our own meat from beef, pork, and venison, living off of what we had to survive.

We were raised that breastfeeding is perfectly natural and the surplus milk is to be used not wasted. We even had a milking goat that would reach her head back and feed off of her own udder as her kid ate. I see nothing disgusting or wrong with drinking my own species milk (especially that of my wife), it is nothing more than a healthy meal.

Since some people have asked, my wife is currently breastfeeding our baby until she is two years old which is far beyond the shelf life of frozen milk. Waste not want not."
 As a healthcare professional, Katie did the math:
"How much breast milk will it take to nourish a grown man? How many days can a grown man life off breast milk comfortably?


-Curtis needs approximately 2,000 calories a day.

-Average breast milk contains between 18-22 calories per ounce. My breast milk has been tested and contains approximately 27-32 calories per ounce.

-Roughly Curtis will need to drink 66 ounces of breast milk a day to get about 2,000 calories.

-We will keep track of the number of ounces he drinks daily.
-We will also monitor his weight to be sure he isn't losing weight.
-No other food will be eaten"
Yeah, it's crazy. I really wonder how long he'll last. As a lactation consultant, Katie will know that human milk contains a very powerful laxative, to help clean out the baby's digestive system. (Good luck with that, Curtis!)

Another interesting fact is that milk contains natural pot-like drugs, endocannabinoids that calm the baby and promote sleep. (And which some veganism advocates, comparing it to opiates, claim is the reason ovo-lacto vegetarians can't quit cheese.) So the effects on Curtis' brain could be... blissful?

I guess I'll be following this blog. It's certainly going to be more interesting than watching Morgan Spurlock puke out of his car at the drive-thru...

UPDATE: They have quit the experiment and are sharing the milk with a needy mom of multiples.