Kourtney Kardashian says she drank her breast milk after feeling sick. Is a new wellness trend upon us?

Breast milk provides babies with the best source of nutrition, but what health benefits does drinking breast milk pose for adults – if any?

Meredith Clark
New York
Friday 12 April 2024 18:02 BST
Related: Kourtney Kardashian announces pregnancy to husband Travis Barker during Blink-182 gig
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The Kardashian-Jenner clan have never shied away from testing out the latest wellness trend, whether it’s placenta smoothies, vagina gummies, or sea moss gel. That’s why it didn’t come as a shock to fans when Kourtney Kardashian, who recently welcomed her first child with husband Travis Barker, revealed that she drank her own breast milk after feeling a little under the weather.

The Poosh founder, 44, shared a selfie to her Instagram Story on Thursday 11 April, in which she was seen flashing a thumbs-up with a funny filter on her face. “This filter is crazy and I just pounded a glass of breast milk because I feel sick,” Kourtney wrote over her Story. “Goodnight!”

Homemade remedies to cure sickness are nothing new: gargling warm water with salt for a sore throat, drinking prune juice as natural laxative, or adding fresh ginger to basically anything. But is breast milk actually an all-in-one solvent for illness, or has Kourtney simply ushered in another passing wellness fad?

“It’s giving Gwyneth Paltrow vibes,” one social media user wrote, referencing the Goop founder and final boss of wellness gurus.

“Ummmm real fans know [Kourtney’s] been doing this since 2009 after her first pregnancy,” another fan aptly pointed out. After all, she did offer to breastfeed her sister Kim Kardashian’s child.

(Instagram / Kourtney Kardashian Barker)

There’s no question that breast milk offers many health benefits for babies who are breastfeeding. Not only is it the best source of nutrition for most babies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it also can help protect babies against some illnesses and diseases - such as asthma, childhood obesity, and type 1 diabetes.

But what health benefits does drinking human breast milk offer to adults, if any? A common claim is that drinking breast milk can help boost the immune system, and there’s even been a lucrative online market for adult buyers of human breast milk. However, experts are divided on drinking breast milk as a wellness trend, considering there isn’t much research on it to begin with.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine warned against drinking breast milk in an unpasteurised state after researchers identified bacteria in 93 per cent of breast milk samples tested. Since breast milk is a bodily fluid, there is also the risk of exposing someone to diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, HIV-1/2, HTLV-I&II and syphilis.

Breast milk has also been considered as a potential topical treatment for various skin conditions, burns, eye infections, or rashes. Back in 2013, Kim Kardashian even asked to use her sister Kourtney’s breast milk to help treat her psoriasis. Needless to say, it didn’t work and Kim has since turned to cortisone cream and tanning beds to ease her psoriasis flare-ups. Most recently, tennis star Serena Williams revealed she used her daughter’s breast milk to treat the sunburn on her face. According to historian Marylynn Salmon, breast milk was commonly used as a cure-all treatment dating as far back as 17th and 18th century England and America.

There’s still much research that needs to be done on the benefits of drinking breast milk in adults. As a result, it’s always best to consult a doctor before joining in on the fad.

Kourtney Kardashian and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, who tied the knot in May 2022, welcomed their son Rocky Thirteen Barker in November 2023. In a recent Instagram Story, the reality TV star shared a heartfelt message to new mothers. “The pressure put on us to bounce back when everything is new and different isn’t realistic,” Kourtney said. “You are beautiful… Just a little reminder (for me too).”

She previously welcomed three children with ex Scott Disick: Mason, 14, Penelope, 11, and Reign, nine. Meanwhile, Barker has two biological children - Landon, 20, and Alabama, 18 - with ex-wife Shanna Moakler, and is the adoptive father of Moaker’s oldest daughter, Atiana De La Hoya.

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