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Friday, October 31, 2014

Elizabeth Street

ALICIA SILVERSTONE LAUNCHES BREAST MILK SHARING PROGRAM FOR VEGAN MOMS

Jul 02, 2013
Alicia Silverstone Launches Breast Milk Sharing Program for Vegan Moms

Alicia Silverstone Launches Breast Milk Sharing Program for Vegan Moms

Last week, actress Alicia Silverstone announced a new breast milk sharing initiative titled “Kind Mama Milk Share” on her blog The Kind Life. Silverstone, who is well-known for her animal rights activism and organic, vegan lifestyle, launched the program to aid vegan mothers who have difficulty nursing. Inspired by a conversation she had with a friend who could not produce enough milk for her child after a breast reduction surgery, Silverstone decided to start an online milk sharing collective of health-conscious, natural moms.

“She tried reaching out in her community for donor milk, but it was almost impossible to figure out what kind of lifestyle choices the donors had made,” Silverstone wrote, describing her friend’s struggle. “And after all that hard work keeping herself vibrant and healthy, she felt she had a right to demand better for her baby.” 

Currently, Kind Mama Milk works as an online community of women posting if they are in need of milk, or if they would like to donate.

“A lot of women unfortunately have a similar struggle,” Silverstone said, of her friend’s experience. “There's no reason why they shouldn't be able to give their babies the most amazing start in life with clean, mean, glorious breast milk. And because we are a community of beautiful souls who recognize the importance of food as health, I say we help support those mamas and babies who need a hand during one of the most important times in their lives.”

“If you have milk to share—post it! If you are in need of milk—post it!” Silverstone wrote, and her readers responded. So far there are over 45 comments on the post with several connections made between donors and mothers in need.

Breast milk is one of the most nutrient-rich foods you can give your newborn, but it can also pose a health risk as bacteria and viruses, including HIV, can be transmitted through the milk. The FDA cautions against using online milk sharing collectives like Kind Mama Milk Share as the milk is unlikely screened for infectious diseases or contaminants.

If you’re a vegan mom having trouble with lactation, but aren’t quite comfortable with online milk sharing, PETA suggests researching approved breast milk banks for vegan donors or opting for soy-based formula.

By Caroline Hallemann

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