chapter  7
15 Pages

Mothers, milk, and morals

Peer milk sharing as moral motherwork in Central Florida
ByBeatriz M. Reyes-Foster, Shannon K. Carter

This chapter considers peer milk sharing in Central Florida. Culling data from a 102-point survey, participant observation within the local milk sharing community, and in-depth interviews with women who participate in the practice, we consider the ways peer milk sharing allows mothers to engage in moral motherwork: donor mothers are moved by a sense of duty and desire to help “worthy maternal recipients,” who fulfill a moral obligation to give their infants the “best nutrition possible.” Entangled in this moral discourse is a strong rejection of the commodification of human milk and a skepticism of agencies that advise against peer milk sharing.