Can You Drink Your Own Breast Milk?
Breast milk is will always be by far the best food for babies as it contains just the right amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that the infants need to grow. In fact, bodies like the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least two years. And apart from helping babies grow it also contributes to boosting their immune system and keep diseases away. But lately, there is an emerging trend where adults are also consuming breast milk.
More and more adults are now taking breast milk for different reasons. For models and others in careers where beauty is everything, it is because of the belief that it helps to keep them younger. Athletes and bodybuilders, on the other hand, believe that it improves their performance. But, can you drink your own breast milk? Does it have any real health benefits?
Can You Drink Your Own Breast Milk?
There is no harm in taking your breast milk, but since it comes from your body, you should not expect to get the same benefits as your baby gets. Some moms prefer to drink their breast milk instead of wasting it. When you are away from your infant for long periods, your breast will become engorged with milk. And so instead of pumping and dumping this milk, some mothers prefer to drink it.
Although drinking your breast milk will not give you the same benefits that your baby gets it can still have some advantages.
#1. Energy Boost
One of the main benefits of taking breast milk is that it will boost your energy levels. Since the milk is full of proteins and vitamins that babies need to grow, you should expect a significant increase in energy levels when you take it. Also, once you get used to the taste, it can be a refreshing drink.
#2. Cancer Treatment
There is some limited research evidence that indicates that taking breast milk can help to treat or manage cancer. Researchers from a university in Sweden (Gothenburg University) were among the first to test this theory.
According to the researchers, there is a compound in breast milk that is known as HAMLET that can be used to attack the cancerous cells. They found that this substance had some effect on up to 40 different tumor types.
There are also a few other research findings that indicate that breast milk can help in cancer treatment. But there is still no concrete and sufficient scientific evidence to prove this.
#3. It Can Be a Wonder Cure for Other Ailments
Most of the information out there about breast milk working like a miracle cure does not have any research or scientific proof. Some individuals claim that taking it on a regular basis can treat conditions like diabetes, acne, some eye conditions and help to manage leukemia.
Perhaps one of the most common beliefs is that it can also treat rheumatoid arthritis which is an auto-immune condition. But, at least there is some research to suggest that lactoferrin which is a compound in breast milk can help to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
So Should You Take Your Breast Milk?
Consuming breast milk or not is all a matter of personal preferences. While some mothers might be okay with it, for others, it is disgusting since they believe milk is only for babies. But, if you do not mind taking it then go ahead. Also, it is better to take the milk rather than pump and dump if you have a lot of it. However, there is also the possibility of donating it to breast milk banks because there are many babies out there that need it.
There is an emerging interest in breast milk, and it is no longer only for infants as it was some years ago. More and more adults now take it for different reasons, and there is no harm in taking your own milk. Squeeze some and keep it in milk storage bags and try drinking your own. It'll be a new experience.
However, it is important to know that there is no scientific proof that it will give you the benefits that many people claim or believe. And so whether you can take it or not will depend on you and your views on the matter.