By Sarah Smith, REDBOOK.
Alicia Silverstone is freaking people out again with her parenting ideas, this time by suggesting that moms connect and share breast milk. The news articles about it are neutral, sure, but the comments are filled with the usual disgusted reactions whenever moms try to do anything related to breastfeeding outside of a darkened room.
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Guess what, though? She's not crazy. I'll admit I thought her idea last year to chew her baby's food and then give it to him was gross. Until I was sitting with my baby when he was first starting solids, worrying about whether he was going to choke. I thought of Alicia then. I didn't do it, but I saw her point of view.
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So instead of giving in to a knee-jerk "ew" reaction, let's take a step back here. Breast milk is not gross. It's just not - so that's off the table. There is a more real argument against sharing, though: The FDA doesn't recommend it because of the potential for disease transmission. But that's sort of "duh," don't you think? I can think of other things people do every single day that involve bodily functions and disease transmission.
I'm pretty confident the women who have been doing this for a lot longer than Alicia Silverstone's been on board already know that and take measures to vet the person they're getting the milk from. There are also breast milk banks, where moms can donate and buy pasteurized human milk, but these can be expensive or require a prescription.
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My baby's going to start drinking cow's milk pretty soon, and this whole discussion about sharing breast milk has me wondering: Is that really any less weird? It's just about what we're used to, so good for Alicia Silverstone for getting people to think about some new ideas.
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