Babies, Breast Milk, and Bifidobacteria

Earlier this year, a London ice cream parlor debuted an attention-grabbing new flavor that made headlines around the world and sold out within days.  The flavor, Baby Gaga, was infused with Madagascan vanilla and lemon zest and served in a martini glass chilled with liquid nitrogen. But at over $22 a serving, customers weren’t coming for its gourmet spices or upscale presentation; they were coming for its star ingredient, its claim to fame: human breast milk.

Just a week after giving birth, women who exclusively breastfeed produce, on average, more than 500 milliliters of milk per day.  In parlor measurements, that’s about a pint of liquid.  At 6 weeks, this amount has typically increased by about 50%; in some highly productive women, it can even double.  For women with an abundant supply, excess milk can be drawn out with an electric pump and stored for future consumption (by baby, or in London, by high-paying ice cream connoisseurs.)

In an interview with the Daily Mail, the London parlor’s proprietor played up the novelty of his new flavor, but his description of its taste (‘creamy and rich’) was comfortably familiar.  Flavor-wise, how does milk from humans compare to milk from cows? Can you even taste a difference?  I don’t live in London, but I do have an ice cream maker.  It’s in my freezer, right next to 2 liters of frozen breast milk.

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~ by Meghan on July 12, 2011.

One Response to “Babies, Breast Milk, and Bifidobacteria”

  1. Great article, Meghan! I think you chose the better path for your extra milk.

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