I’m tempted to drink my extra breastmilk. Is it safe? Is it worth it? Should I just donate it?

Excerpt from Asking for a Pregnant Friend: 101 Answers to Questions Women Are Too Embarrassed to Ask about Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood

It’s safe, so long as you’re drinking only your own breastmilk. Because when you’re drinking milk from your body, you’re not exposed to anything you haven’t already been exposed to. That safety does not extend to the strange trend among bodybuilders of purchasing untested breastmilk at high prices on the internet. I even had an exboyfriend text me after I gave birth, brazenly asking if I would give him my leftover milk. My response: “Uh, no. I don’t have milk to spare, and if I did, I would donate it to a milk bank, not your vanity.” Many milk banks create a safe environment for the exchange of breastmilk, as they ensure that the mother donating milk is free of health conditions, medications, and other substances that could contaminate breastmilk. Milk sold through shady sources online could contain anything from germs found in human waste to Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria (not dinosaurs). Yummy.

Back to your milk. While you can definitely benefit from the proteins and vitamins in it, it’s not nearly as amazing for you as it is for baby. It’s custom made for them, helping ensure they get the exact nutrients and immune-boosting goodies they need during early development. Much of what you get from breastmilk is akin to what you’d get from eating a healthy diet. But if you have enough to spare and are motivated to make your breast milk part of your diet, anecdotal evidence has shown it could…

  • Increase energy
  • Boost immunity
  • Clear up acne when applied to the face
  • Soothe Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
  • Build muscle
  • Help erectile dysfunction (No wonder steroid-filled bodybuilders are all about breastmilk.)

So swigging breastmilk could have some perks, but it might be put to better use by a baby whose mama can’t produce enough. But that’s 100 percent your call — no judgment either way! I have a friend who can’t consume dairy but also can’t stand plant-based milk. She tried her breastmilk in her cereal and coffee and loved it. She now has a massive frozen supply of her milk to use for breakfast.

What to do

You might as well…

Give it a try. If you’re curious about sipping your special sauce, go for it. If you’re primarily interested in it for potential health benefits, try it for a week and notice whether you experience any positive changes. Or if you just like the taste and prefer using it over cow or plant milk, keep on drinkin’.

Consider donating the milk. If you’re not fully committed to drinking your milk but want something to do with your surplus, contact local hospitals to see if they accept donations. You can also reach out to legit milk banks at the following websites:

  • hmbana.org
  • medolac.com
  • prolacta.com
  • lactalogics.com

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