Monday, July 23, 2012

Finally, a soap I won't be trying

Here's where I am conflicted. 

Lately, many of the amazing women I know have been having babies, I've mentioned this before.  And many of them have become HUGE proponents of breast feeding, which is also cool.  The US Department of Health and Human Services has given funding to form and support a National Breastfeeding Campaign designed to help the average American both understand the benefits of breast feeding and also educate people on the hows, whens and whats of breast feeding.  All good stuff.

I won't lie, I have a personal discomfort with breast feeding but I realize it is my own problem.  I won't go too much into it because I know many people who read this could defeat me with logic in a hot second.  My reaction isn't logical...La Leche League International has entire articles on how to deal with breast feeding haters, so I guess I'm not uncommon but let's move on.

I get the benefits of breast feeding and think all women who can and want to breast feed should.  But lately, all of this good feeling about breast feeding has been exhibiting itself in some new and fascinating ways.  By this, I mean the advent of products for consumption made from breast milk.  From The Icecreamists in London who, in 2011 served breast milk ice cream to patrons (it sold out) to an NYU project that resulted in making breast milk cheese and Chef David Angerer's breast milk cheese , the use of breast milk has certainly morphed and the effects are polarizing.

Chef Angerer with his wife and child.  For more on his opinion, read the blog he wrote about it.  Interesting stuff.

So, of course breast milk soap would be part of this, right?  When I first saw mention of this phenomenon on Shecky's list of "Weirdest, Most WTF Beauty Products Ever" I thought this must be something that soapers are doing in their own homes to make use of what's extra.  After all, you are what you eat, right?  So maybe this soap is better for baby that Johnson's No More Tears.

Why have that when you can have this? 

But no, I suppose it can be quite the moneymaking enterprise to sell breast milk soap.  Etsy store Cahmille sells several different scents and varities of what soap maker Jessica calls "Mother's Milk Soap."  You can even buy a really pretty sampler of scents from her here at a super reasonable proce if you are so inclined.

Another Etsy store, The Green Box, sells some REALLY unique flavors and the soaps are just gorgeous.   Take a gander at the Healing Hemp natural Mother's Milk Soap. 

If you'd like to do it yourself, there is a recipe here but I warn you to read these precautions.

I'm admittedly not a scientist but I cannot imagine that this is not without its issues.  After all, many communicable diseases are spread through breast milk.  I'm not sure I would want to buy Mother Milk soap but I think the idea is fascinating.

I'd love to hear from people from various parts of my life comment on their feelings on this matter?  Has anyone tried the soap?

Food for thought on this Monday.


  1. Alright, I'll bite. ;)

    First of all, wow - this is pretty fascinating. I never considered the world of breastmilk soap. Full disclosure: I am a breastfeeding mom. That is am, not was, as my 14 month old is still nursing. (There are a lot of reasons for this, but many are private, and I'd rather not share in a blog comment). We can establish that I'm pretty pro-breastfeeding.

    Next, I'll say that breastmilk is amazing stuff. Its antibacterial properties and good fats do some amazing things. I have used my own milk to correct a blocked tear duct in my daughter's eye, and I have rubbed milk on some cuts (my own and hers) to heal them quicker. I have even donated milk to a baby whose mother died two weeks after giving birth, so I'm OK with milk sharing and donation.

    There is no way I'm buying that soap.

    If rubbing boob milk all over my body (it is supposed to be good for your skin, but I am not that hardcore) ever appeals to me, I'll make my own soap, tyvm. And, I have no intentions of ever making any soap. I particularly don't want to bathe myself in some strange woman's milk. Ick.

    And that sums up my feelings on savon de boob.

  2. That is so bizarre! I don't think I would be at all comfortable with another woman's milk soap cleaning my baby. That's just ick.

    On a side note, I felt for years that I wouldn't breast feed for my own personal, illogical reasons. And then I got pregnant, and my attitude changed. I'm still not wholly looking forward to it, but I am much more resolved to try & do this super healthy thing for my baby.

    That was my change of heart. I do not think my motivators would necessarily work for everyone, nor should everyone be made to follow the same stipulations on what makes a "good mother." My two cents. :)

  3. I have no issues with breastfeeding, but there is no way on earth I would use breast milk soap or consume breast milk cheese or ice cream. YUCK.

  4. Thanks guys, Haley I agree with you wholeheartedly. Also, I am SO impressed with your dedication, not only to Syd but also to that poor baby. Props to you, Miss Awesomesauce...seriously. But yeah, if a woman told me she wanted to make her own soap and use it I would be like "right on." But it is providing it to the consumer that makes me feel conflicted. Also, how on EARTH is she 14 months old? Time surely flies.

    Michelle, what you said struck a major chord with me. For many reasons, I will never be in the position you are but I just get squicked at the idea for myself. Many people say that changes with impending motherhood...I'll never know. But I always thought that my small baby destroying my lovely lady lumps would breed contempt in me (don't everyone reading this get mad...I know its dumb). Also, good luck! You are going to be a rock star mom.

    Heather...yeah. According to Angerer he only made the cheese for his private consumption and I GUESS that's ok but I'm still thinking donating the milk to a needy baby might be the better plan.

  5. I think breast milk should feed babies.

    As to the communicable disease issue - I suspect that the lye would kill anything that might be living in the milk. I'm no scientist but lye is nasty stuff and it does heat the milk/water mixture to over boiling so I don't think that would be an issue.

    That being said I will not be trying these products...

  6. My daughter and I just made some breastmilk soap tonight! We can;t wait to see how it comes out!

  7. I can understand how some people would think breast milk soap might be gross, but as a soaper, let me just assure you, that all pathogens in breast milk are killed once the lye hits it. There is zero risk of catching any communicable disease when soap is made from breast milk. For generations, people have been using products made from goats, cows milk, and even donkey milk because of it's moisturizing properties. If you can use those products, why wouldn't you use breast milk soap?