An old acquaintance texted me out of the blue a few days ago. At first his questions were innocent: “How are you?” “How’s the baby?” But then: “Are you still breastfeeding?”
Wait, what? Why did a single, 30-something male care if my child is still pumping nourishment from my boobs?
Shunning my better judgment, and stoking my curiosity, I responded with an affirmative. He then proceeded to ask if I had any extra milk, to gift him. Okayyyy. Trying to make sense of this conversation, I asked if he had a friend who needed the breastmilk for their baby.
Nope. He responded that he needed it for his “muscle babies.” That’s right, “muscle babies.”
Much to my chagrin, it turns out that breast milk is the new steroid. Muscle-building, creatine-drinking, chest-pounding men are now jonesing for the liquid gold. When I discovered that this was the new thing after obsessively pouring through Google and bodybuilder forums for three hours, I threw up a little in my mind.
I had a long hypothetical conversation in my head regarding why I would rather change 20 diaper blowouts in one day than pass my hard-won breastmilk over to this dude-bro.
Here’s what I didn’t say to him (but sort of wish I had):
1. If I had extra milk, it would be donated to the mother of the premature baby down the street, who is struggling to produce milk.
When I conjure the image of you, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a baby, it’s easy to decide whom my extra milk would go to. Although it is outstanding to envision you and Arnold suckling on baby bottles.
2. You could die, dude.
According to the New York Times, a study published in October 2014 found that“64% of samples from milk-sharing sites were contaminated with staph, 36% with strep, and almost three-quarters with other bacterial species.” I’d like to think my milk is free of staph, strep, and “other bacterial species,” but be aware that you’re asking to ingest my untested bodily fluid. There are excellent milk banks that do test breast milk for contaminates and often donate the good milk to mamas and babies in need — muscle builders need not apply. Sorry, guy.
3. If you were my husband, I would might say yes.
Maybe breast milk really is a wonder liquid for the muscles, minds, and raging hormones of grown men, so random old acquaintance, if you were my hubs, go to town on my non-existent extra milk. But, you had no part in the making of my milk conjuring baby, so bugger off.
4. Is the growth of your muscles really worth the embarrassment of asking an almost stranger to pony up the milk?
Assuming you’re able to feel embarrassment, which is a big question mark, are your pleas for my milk worth the physical gain you may or may not receive? Now, if you had serious health concerns, say cancer, and there was an off chance that the milk may benefit you, I would heavily consider making a donation. But handing over the liquid commodity — that I just may value more than gold — so your biceps can take home the trophy at the gun show is not appealing to me.
5. What if your girlfriend saw these texts?
While I don’t think of breastfeeding, and the resulting milk, as sexual, I do view it as intimate. If your girlfriend knew you were texting an old female friend, requesting her milk for the sake of your vanity, she would likely take pause, and then give you the stink eye, or worse.
6. At least offer to pay me the big bucks.
More respectful ultra-fitness-buffs are offering upwards of $2 an ounce for mamas willing to sell their milk; what’s your best offer, mister? Oh wait, I don’t have extra, never mind.
7. Breast milk is made for babies.
It all boils down to this: nature is pretty clear on the fact that breast milk is intended for babies, and toddlers, if they wish to continue the ritual. There is a reason why women with teenagers no longer lactate; breast milk is meant to nourish humans the first few years of life, not into their weight-lifting competition days. A mama’s milk dries up shortly after her baby is weaned. It’s nature’s plan. So go buy a protein shake.
Because it’s impossible for me to leave a text unanswered, I decided to do a 180 on the topic and asked how his dog was doing.
He never responded.More On