Accepted paper:

Ireland, Irish Women and Lactation Surrogacy: Imagining a world where it takes a community to feed a child.

Author:

Tanya Cassidy (Maynooth University)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

Using other people's breast milk has been an answer to the problem of when mother's own milk is not available cross-culturally and throughout history. From casual, often hidden, cross-nursing experiences, to more formalized and now often not recognized paid employment associated with wet nursing, Irish women have given literally of themselves around the world to feed other people's infants. The modern human milk bank located in Northern Ireland is the only community based milk bank in the UK Association of Milk Banks, and therefore is not only able to accept donations from women on either side of the border, but also is able to provide milk to infants in need island wide. This exemplar of cross border health co-operation could help to imagine a world in which all infants have the opportunity to receive breast milk.

panel W056
The breast milk problem: cultural considerations when mother's own milk is unavailable