NBC5.com - Health - HealthWatch: Banking On Breast Milk
NBC5.com, UPDATED: 11:03 am CST February 9, 2005
"CHICAGO -- It's a drink so beneficial that its claims include protection against infections and allergies, and even the possibility of making you smarter. In a special HealthWatch report Tuesday night, Nesita Kwan reported that women all over the world make this drink for their babies every day. It's breast milk. Now, Kwan said, some women who can't produce breast milk are choosing to buy it. The benefits of breast milk are so numerous that a new kind of bank is springing up in this country; the breast milk bank. The concept may seem a little odd to those who aren't accustomed to the idea, but Kwan said a growing number of women say mother's milk is so good that it's worth it at almost any price. The image of a baby cuddled at the breast completes the romantic ideal of motherhood, but the science behind this intimate act increasingly shows that mother's milk is the perfect first food. 'Nothing can substitute,' said human milk scientist Paula Meier, with Rush University Medical Center. Kwan said that Meier and other scientists lead world class programs to encourage breast feeding. But nursing isn't always an option, such as in the case of Bahia Reneau, a Naperville mother who adopted her son, Landon. She tried formula milk, but it caused cramps and constipation. So, believing that breast milk is best, she and her husband are choosing to buy it from someone else. 'Within a day, he actually had a huge bowel movement. He goes every day now,' Reneau said. 'He's definitely ... just very happy and calm and real easy....'"