News & Observer taps expertise of Elon professor about milk banks

Aunchalee Palmquist, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, offered her insights about new mothers sharing breast milk. 

<p>Aunchalee Palmquist, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology</p>
A recent report by the News & Observer of Raleigh about breast milk banks featured the insights of Elon’s Aunchalee Palmquist, an assistant professor of sociology and anthropology who has extensively researched breastfeeding practices. 

The article, “Premature babies need breast milk. Milk banks need more donors to help them get it,” explored the relatively low number of nonprofit milk banks in the country. One in Cary, WakeMed Mother’s Milk Bank, uses donations from mothers of extra breast milk to help moms who are struggling to breastfeed. 

Palmquist noted for the article that some mothers turn to milk-sharing, which involves giving away milk for free. But she notes that there are ethical questions about whether mothers whould freely donate or be paid for their milk and whether there should be more safeguards in place to ensure that donated milk is safe for babies. 

Read the entire article here

Earlier this year, Palmquist participated in a United Nations session of the Commission on the Status of Women and advocated for increased access to breastfeeding resources.