The INSIDER Summary:
The 2017 Burning Man Festival just wrapped up in
Miki Agrawal, the woman who founded period underwear
company Thinx, was there.
During the festival, Agrawal gave away her breast milk
to other adults.
She said people used it as a “hangover cure” and to
But at this year’s festival, one participant did
something that seems wild even for Burning Man: Entrepreneur Miki
Agrawal — the
controversial founder of period underwear company Thinx
gave out her breast milk to other adult
“I pumped my breasts every three hours at @burningman and gave away most of my milk,”
Agrawal wrote in the caption of an Instagram post
published Tuesday, just after the festival’s conclusion.
“Some people downed a whole four ounces hoping for a hangover
cure. Some wanted it for their coffee to make lattes. So many
were excited and curious to try it. I drank some too when I ran
out of water, it tastes like sweet coconut milk!”
This isn’t the first time Agrawal has been to Burning
Man. In 2016, she published a
post on Medium describing her attempt to conceive a child
with her husband inside the festival’s “Orgy Dome.”
Eventually she did conceive, and Agrawal
gave birth to her first child on July 5.
Although it seems like an odd activity for the festival, it may
have had a positive impact. Mothers are still
shamed for breastfeeding in public, and it’s
possible that sharing her experience with a wide
audience could change the minds of people who don’t understand
breast feeding’s importance. (On Instagram she did write that the
giving out her milk made her “realize that most people
[…] know very little about motherhood and birth and post
And, since Burning Man isn’t exactly flush with electrical
hookups, it’s possible that the only other alternative was to
throw the milk away.
The problem is that — while breast milk is ideal food
for babies — it’s actually pretty dangerous for adults
Online forums are full of outlandish claims about adult breast
milk consumption, according to a
2015 paper published in The Journal of the Royal Society of
Medicine. People say that it can help adults build
muscle, boost their immune systems, and even treat erectile
dysfunction. And demand is apparently high: Mothers are
actually selling their milk online to eager adult buyers.
Unfortunately, the authors of the paper wrote, none of those
benefits have been demonstrated in research. At best,
people who drink it might experience a placebo effect. That means
it’s definitely not a “hangover cure,” as some folks at Burning
Drinking someone else’s breast milk could also give you diseases.
That same paper noted that people selling breast milk online
may not have been adequately tested for viruses that can be
transmitted via milk. Buyers could also be at risk for bacterial
infections if the pumping equipment isn’t properly
sterilized, or if the milk has been stored or transported in an
Agrawal is certainly free to pump wherever and whenever she
chooses, but she might want to hold up on future milk
giveaways. At the end of the day, breast milk is for babies and
can pose problems for adult drinkers.
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