|Obscure Academic Kashrut Question
||[Jan. 14th, 2009|09:48 pm]
A Community For Jewish Parenting
Yes, I'm a nerd.
Is breastmilk kosher if it has blood in it?
Breastmilk has a weird place in Kashrut. It technically isn't kosher and is technically neither dairy nor pareve.
The Orthodox POV is that it is only Kosher for the nursing baby.
I'll find out about the blood thing, although you can ask your own Rabbi.
Thanks. Yes, I know about the special status of breastmilk - kosher but from a non-kosher animal - but the blood thing just totally tripped me up. ;-) If you find out, please let me know.
So I asked the mavens over at a certain site I frequent and frequently get annoyed with an I just got this answer (I'll post more if there is a different POV):
AFAIK, if the baby is directly nursing it's not a problem, but expressed with blood in is Assur [prohibition]. But everyone should ask their own shaila [question], especially if the EBM is vital for the baby.
Oh, and this is what I asked: would blood (say from cracked nipples or something from the ducts) make the milk completely Assur to use - either from the breast or from a bottle?
You know, I was *just* thinking the exact same thing! Mostly because if the baby is directly nursing, you may not even know that he/she is ingesting blood. But if you know about it ... that's a different story, it would seem to me.
But it's not like vampirism would be kosher.
Humans aren't animals for purposes of kashrut, so it's fine.
So ... kosher vampires? [gasp] Kosher cannibals? [shudder]
The cannibalism thing is actually kind of complicated. I had to look it up after Gabe tried to eat my hair one evening :)
Please, educate me! (And where in the world were you able to look it up?!)
One would think that after expressing breastmilk (presuming the traditional source) and finding blood, the issue of kashrut would be secondary to calling the doctor!
Your response made me laugh :)
In the beginning there can be blood involved from cracked nipples. After the baby gets teeth there can be blood involved from a bite wound (which I just discovered!)
Any other reason you should see a doctor.
Aside from that, I believe human blood, especially in regards to breast milk is fine. And it is fine for the baby, medically, to ingest as well*.
*side note: if this does happen to you and then you see blood in the baby's stool, don't panic, it's normal. Your blood goes in and comes out in the same form, it's not the baby's blood.
I was going to say something like this as well. :-) Other possible causes of blood in breastmilk (none of which require seeing a doctor, AFAIK) are vascular engorgement ("Rusty Pipe Syndrome"), broken capillaries, or intraductal papillomas.
I've heard conflicting things about whether it's OK (medically) for baby to ingest the blood. Of course, many babies ingest blood-tinged milk without parents or health professionals ever knowing about it, and have no problems. But drinking (knowingly) bloody breast milk ... I've heard that it's entirely benign, and I've heard that it's irritating to the gut and can have a purgative effect and can increase a newborn baby's bilirubin level, worsening infant jaundice. And of course, blood in breast milk can increase a baby's risk of acquiring certain infectious diseases while breastfeeding (if the mother is infected herself).