My project is about a world where breast milk is a commodity. Companies like Milk Connection provide breast milk to mothers/clients via bottle or wet-nurse. Milk Connection is not a one time donation collection facility. It is a company that fosters budding wet nurses into their full potential. By providing training, pro-lactation meals, on call doctors, vitamins, testing, and legal protection, wet nurses are able to strive and build credibility in the early stages of their careers. After 8 years the wet nurse is ready to take her oath of commitment to the cause. She is given a pin to symbolize the beginning of her commitment and after ten years of following that oath, she is given the full badge along with the elevated status of a Senior Wet Nurse. Senior Wet Nurses receive special retirement privileges, such as top treatment and living arrangements, that few end up using. Instead, they end up staying with their client families until the children enter high school or go off to college– after which they join a new client family. I will be focusing on the career path of wet nurses and what this elevated status looks like.
I believe the form will be a poster/digital collection of snap shots from this world. They would include a job add for an entry level wet nurse, the design of the pin and badge, persona of a senior wet nurse, persona of an entry wet nurse, the oath of commitment, about the Milk Connection page, and a bio of a lower quality company.
1. Wet Nurse
– Create a job ad for a wet nurse on a well known site
– Fully flesh out benefits, responsibilities, insurance issues
– Express room for advancement
– Create a company that specialized in breast milk
– Certifications and education you need to become one
2. Breast Milk Related Products
– specialized brands, stores, products to aid wet nurse career
– Special food items, restaurants, drinks for wet nurses/breast feeding
– ginger, special water, lactation cookies, oatmeal, garlic, carrots, fennel, nuts, green papaya, seltzer, herbal tea, sesame seeds, almond milk, fruit juice, veggie juice,
3. Milk on the shelf
– Branding opportunities based on skill, ethnicity, health
– Few women breast feed themselves
Links I have been looking at:
Current issues with promoting breastfeeding:
– not enough paid maternity leave
– social stigma/harassment
– possibility of arrest
– constant need therefore very tiring for mother
– baby should be breastfeed until 6 months old but that doesn’t usually happen because its difficult to balance work and the baby’s need
So what does this mean for the future:
– rise in wet nurses (increased practice now and historical practice)
-rise in buying milk
– rise in regulation (negative towards breast feeding)
What I could do:
– create a future where wet nurses are more acceptable and map out their career
– create a future where wet nurses and buying milk is common place and focus on what supports those systems (food, products, etc)
– create a future where buying milk is typical and done in store
A future wheel:
Some links that I have been using as resources:
So I found this article in the NYT about how Breast Milk is now a commodity and I think it would be particularity intriguing to use it as a base for my final project.
Here is the link:
I think I would want to examine a future where breast milk becomes a more powerful commodity.
Some ideas I would want to explore in relation to the project:
-Women could get longer maternity leave if they agree to sell some of their breast milk
-Branding of breast milk from different ethnicities
– Selling breast milk in stores
– Breast milk being forced from women
– Providing breast milk as a career/job?