Origins of the Milky Way

People frequently ask me how I came up with the name Milky Way for my business.  More than 18 years ago my husband and I were sitting on our sofa discussing my new business plan as a lactation consultant.  My husband thought I should have a newsletter and immediately came up with the name Milky Way News.  I never did start a newsletter, but Milky Way stuck because it was appropriate in so many ways.

Our children had called breastfeeding “having milkies” as toddlers.  Many families invent code words for breastfeeding as babies become verbal.   I was always turned off when I heard mothers asking if their children wanted “the boob.”  So when my daughter asked for “milkies” when she was about 15 months, we all latched on to it!  In our household, breastfeeding was called milkies ever after.

In addition, the Milky Way galaxy, according to ancient Greek mythology, was started by breastmilk spraying from the breast of the goddess Hera.  In Roman mythology it was the breastmilk of the goddess Ops.              .

Finally, at that time, few people had even heard of a lactation consultant, and many were not even familiar with the word lactation.  Using the word breast in my business name might have given me problems with print media, and some people would have found it to be too “in your face.”  Milky Way sounded to me like a non-offensive and yet beautiful suggestion of a lifestyle with breastfeeding as an integral part.  I liked that, and hoped that my business would be able to promote breastfeeding as part of a normal life with babies.

If you search the internet today, you will find all kinds of breastfeeding businesses which use Milky Way as part of their name.  Sometimes that bothers me, and I feel like saying “hey, I had it first” but, of course, the candy bar was around long before me!  I try to take it as a compliment that others realize how appropriate the name Milky Way is.

So, I guess my kids and my husband get much of the credit for the invention of the Milky Way name, but I have done my best to make sure that the name means quality breastfeeding help in Southern Maryland to all who hear it.  I’m glad I didn’t go with my husband’s second choice:  Little Suckers!  What do you think?