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We All Scream for Mom's Cream

Fall 2005

The bestselling "Mounds" for two. Favorite flavor? Dulche de leche.

TAKOMA PARK, MD - If many of your neighbors seem a little bit healthier, less cranky, and more likely to nap at odd times during the day, a group of hard-working moms can tell you why. Your neighbors are most likely imbibing what has become Takoma Park's beverage du jour: breast milk. They're ordering it with their lattes, buying it by the gallon at the co-op, licking it in sweet form at the ice cream store -- even taking it straight from the source.

It's about time, say the moms who have been working overtime to supply it. "We all know the fabulous benefits that breast milk provides for babies -- everything from boosting IQ to improving immunity to smoothing digestion," says Tricia DeCourt, one of the mass-market lactation moms. "Our point is why let the babies hog all the good stuff? Shouldn't we all be enjoying the many health and psychological benefits that breast milk provides?"

Thousands of Takoma Park residents apparently agree. What started as a modest offering in the dairy section of the co-op has now spread to almost every Takoma Park eatery. "We're still amazed at the response," says DeCourt, who along with friends Anna Medula, Carla Chaspere, and Liane Mason have been pumping, squeezing, and squirting breastmilk at every opportunity to keep up with demand.

The trend doesn't show any signs of subsiding. Breast milk lattes -- called Hot Titties -- are now the number one drink at a local coffee shop. And a Takoma Park ice cream shop has been offering The Mounds, twin scoops of breast milk ice cream topped by strategically placed chocolate chips, for several weeks.

And for the purists who are willing to pay a premium, the moms offer straight-from-the-source shots at their stand at the entrance of the Takoma Metro. "That's only first thing in the morning," explains DeCourt, "when we're spouting the stuff anyway." On a recent Monday morning, the line of open-mouthed customers stretched all the way to the Kiss 'N Ride lot.

Of course, the breast milk geyser hasn't exploded without its share of controversy. Several Takoma Park residents became cranky and irritable after imbibing mom's milk. "I had loose stools for days," whined Rob Oobs, a regular customer who weaned himself from the milk for good recently. "I cried and cried and couldn't be comforted after downing too many Hot Titties. The moms have to realize that some of us can get really colicky if they eat too much spicy food, chocolate, or caffeine."

DeCourt says she's aware of the issue, and the moms are taking steps to clearly label their milk. "Actually, it's a great marketing tool. Some folks really like spicy breast milk, and many develop a preference for milk from one particular mom," she says.

DeCourt and her team dream of going national one day, she says. "It just seems like the right time and the right place," says DeCourt, who is working hard to recruit lactating moms all over the country. "I'm emphasizing the personal rewards that come with mass-market lactation. Who wouldn't like bigger breasts, a slimmer figure, and industrial-strength nipples? And as any nursing mom knows, supply will rise to meet demand."