I'm wetnursing...

Jodi - posted on 06/02/2010 ( 150 moms have responded )

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Hey all, I have a 15 month old daughter who stil breastfeeds at LEAST 3 times a day plus at night; I just recently started watching two of my nephews, ones 2 1/2 and the other is 7 months old. The 7 month old is breastfed and his mother tried pumping, but just wasn't getting enough out, so I do have formula on hand but my sister and I had discussed wetnursing. Turns out, we're both okay with it, so that's what I've been doing!

I'm just wondering how everyone feels on the topic, I must admit, it's a little strange to look down and not see my daughter there, but it comforts my nephew, gives him good nutrition and my daughter thinks it is so funny when they both nurse at the same time! I by no means find it gross, unsettling or wrong. It makes my day go by smoother and makes him happier. What's your take on this situation???

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Dawn - posted on 06/05/2010

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Leah- there ARE breastmilk banks! There are banks that you can donate to, and they pasteurize the milk and sell it to people with prescriptions. Another alternative is a service that hooks up someone with milk to a family that wants milk, and they do the exchange privately. I am pumping for a friend of mine that is adopting a baby. I will try to find the links :)

Ashley - posted on 06/04/2010

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great job!! my sister and i do it too!! its funny you posted this cause i was about to post it my self......a lil story... a few towns over a married couple who were advocates for breastfeeding were in labor and sadly the wife passed during childbirth, all of the nursing moms went over to their home in diff shifts and nursed that lil munchkin till he was almost two yrs old. they all still attend all his bdays and christmass he may have lost his mommy but he has 15 different ladies who love him like their own!! keep up the good work!

Candice - posted on 06/03/2010

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Go for it! I nurse my niece all the time.Tandem nursing keeps them in one spot for a few minutes :)

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Sarah - posted on 04/17/2012

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i can understand that feeling. I wet nursed a friends boy. I have three boys and fed them all into todddler hood. they weaned, but i carried on producing. My friend had two boys one 3.5 years old and one 2 years old. One afternoon she fed her 2 year old, but she didnt have enough at times for her other son. With the older boy sitting next to me and hugging me, the situation started me lactating. A short discussion and ended up wet nursing her older boy a few times over the next couple of months if she was in my company. It was wirerd not having my own son on my breast, but i loved it. my nipples still erect at the sound of a toddler crying or even looking at my breasts

Rachel - posted on 06/09/2010

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I, personally, thing its wonderful!! I think that people may have things to say about it, but thats just our society. Unfortunaltley, breastfeeding is taboo in our culture. If you look at other cultures around the world this wouldn't strike people as strange at all. I think its great that you and your sister are comfortable with it. A friend of mine formula feeds and she ran out one day she was at my house. she asked for some expressed breastmilk and I gave it to her. her son didnt care too much for it because he was used to formula but alot of people had some funny reactions about it. lol!

Terra - posted on 06/09/2010

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This post just totally warms my heart!! What an awesome thing you're doing for your nephew! ♥ ♥ ♥

Tracey - posted on 06/09/2010

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my baby sister(20) fed my baby girl to try and help before we ended up in hosputal for major weight loss(more than 25%), where as our middle sister (33) had to leave the room as she felt weirded out & kept asking how can you do that???(we all breastfeed our babies)I am extremely grateful to my baby sis, even though we ended up having to give my baby girl formula in the hospital.Her 5mth old was looking at her & smiling. :)
My baby girl is now breastfeed & topped up with ebm as well as formula, every now & then we will grab a bottle of baby sis ebm & defrost it for her,can't see any harm her boy is a monster :)

Elise - posted on 06/08/2010

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This is awesome on so many levels. Aside from everything everyone else mentioned, you and your nephew will always have an amazing bond.

Emily - posted on 06/08/2010

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Ashley Ivey, that story was so beautiful it gave me goosebumps xo
I, like almost everyone else here, think it's a beautiful thing that you're doing. Good on you.
It's so good to read all these positive comments!

Sherry - posted on 06/08/2010

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I THINK ITS REALLY THE MOST AWESOME THING THAT YOU COULD DO, I SUPPORT YOU 500 PERCENT, THIS IS SOMETHING I NEVER HEAR OF,MY HATS OFF TO YOU AND TO EVERY WOMAN THAT WOULD LOVE TO HELP IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS, i KNOW FOR A FACT IF I WAS IN THIS SITUATION, LET NATURE TAKE ITS COURSE, THATS WHY GOD GAVE US BREASTS, IF WE ARE ABLE TO HELP OUT THEN LETS DO SO,, IT SSO MUCH BETTER FOR THE CHILD... *HIGH FIVE* TO YOU HONEY.... SUPPORT IS ALL AROUND YOU FROM ME :)

Nicole - posted on 06/08/2010

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i think that is a wonderful thing you are doing...im not sure i could do that myself as i had problems with nursing my own and had to go to formula...if i had a nursing relative that didn't mind donating me some milk for my child I would have been excited. im not sure i would be so cozy with them taking her to their breast though ..i felt bad enough that i wasn't able to BF.

Then i found out that my daughter has cow milk protein allergy so when i stopped giving her breast milk that i could she got bound up really gassy , fussy and threw up alot . i felt horrible ...we now have her on alimentum similac. which is very expensive. thank goodness for WIC . but i still would have preferred her getting breast milk =/

Cinda - posted on 06/08/2010

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I think it's AWESOME!! It not only gets him the nutrition he needs but the emotional comfort babies need/want from nursing. My son is 18 months & still nursing full-time & through the night b/c he wants the comfort from it more than the nutrition from the milk. I think it is BEAUTIFUL that you are wetnursing your nephew. It's not much different than using donor milk. I donated 1,000 ounces to the local Mother's Milk Bank. I also donated several hundred ounces directly to a friend for her son who became a bit sickly after her milk dried up. So SUPER KUDOS to you for giving such a precious gift to your nephew & sister!!

Natasha - posted on 06/08/2010

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Hi There, I Think what you are doing is very honorable! Please do not get me wrong...!

I do not want to burst your bubble but here in SA moms with HIV and Aids are advise not to breastfeed there infants as the risk of passing the virus is so great...the mom will also diliver via c/s as not to transmitt the virus.

A quote from a very interresting book - Everything you need to know about breastfeeding by Suzanne Fredregill:
" Remarkably, your milk is alive. It's almost more like white blood than milk. Like blood, your milk is rich in antibodies that fight infections in your baby. Living cells from your body, called macrophages cruise through your baby's system gobbling up germs, which is especially important during the first months of life, when your baby's own immune system is weak."

I am not against it but I would advise on doing intense research of the donater status before taking their milk as you might harm the infant in the long run.

Jessica - posted on 06/08/2010

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Thats wonderful that you guys are both ok and able to do that. I could absolutly donate breast milk, but I don't think I could breast feed anothers baby... Good for you and your sister!

Kirsten - posted on 06/08/2010

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wet nursing is fine, it is becoming more and more popular for the wealthier people to employ wet nurses instead of nannies.

Farah - posted on 06/08/2010

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GOOD FOR YOU!!!! I donated my breastmilk, after watching the 20/20 show with Selma Hayek (may have spelled that wrong) I was inspired and awed by her for nursing a sick baby from Serria Leon. I think all children should be given the chance at a healthy start and as the saying goes Breast is best! Bravo to you and your sister for being mature, sensitive and above all intelligent moms!! ♥

Lisa - posted on 06/08/2010

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absolutely awesome. I donated pumped milk to several babies, and would have wet nursed if asked (I have more than enough milk to go around). Good for you!

LeeAnn - posted on 06/08/2010

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I think it is awesome. I was unsuccessful at breastfeeding my oldest daughter, but my youngest nursed for 14 1/2 months. I had a TON of milk, so I could have easily been a wetnurse. I could even get milk out of my armpit. (kind of weird, but I don't know anyone else who could do that) I think that being a wetnurse is something that has been forgotten for the most part. "Back in the day" it was very common for children to have a wetnurse for many different reasons. I actually contemplated donating milk to a milk bank, but there wasn't one close enough. Kudos to you and your sister! I do see how some cases it might be more comfortable to nurse at the breast, and others to simply use pumped milk from a wetnurse. Either way, you are giving the baby breastmilk, which is what he already eats at home, so his system isn't upset that way.

Cheryl - posted on 06/08/2010

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I'd do it only with a close relative. Now if my twin sister had a new baby and for whatever reason needed me to also breastfeed him/her, I'd definitely do it. If it was not a family member, I'd pump and feed via dropper/bottle.

Alexandra - posted on 06/08/2010

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I think it's marvelous. I don't understand why people see drinking another animal's milk as more acceptable than our own. If we all ran out and started sucking on a cow's udder there would be an uproar (and a lot of hits on YouTube). Wet nursing is far more natural and normal. You go girl!

Michelle - posted on 06/08/2010

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I think it's great that you and your sister have that love of family. I think it's great and much easier on his tummy than trying to do formula! I didn't know what wet-nursing was and had to read. Guess you learn something new everyday:)

Ashleigh - posted on 06/08/2010

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At one point my aunt was my wet nurse, I am about a year younger than my cousin. I thought about trying it with my niece, she was formula fed from birth but I wanted to try it but her mom thought it was too weird.



Good luck! I think its awesome!

Kay - posted on 06/08/2010

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i think breast feeding is supposed to be a bond between mother and child ... but each to their own i guess .

Rebecca - posted on 06/08/2010

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Dunno, weirds me out a bit but probably just due to society brainwashing me...

Kim - posted on 06/07/2010

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I would do it for my sisters kids too and even close friends if they needed. I just think it would be hard to me to watch someone else breastfeed my baby. This is only how I would feel personally, the fact that your sister trusts and cares for you enough to watch you breastfeed her baby is amazing. I applaud you both.

Liz - posted on 06/07/2010

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I think its great. I was going to do that for my niece b/c my sister didnt produce enough and my niece had problems going poop but my sister didnt want me too. I think its a great thing to do. Its whats best for the babies.

Eliza - posted on 06/07/2010

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For me I wouldn't do it. It would be uncomfortable to me. I could pump extra milk for him but to allow my nephew to latch on, I would feel like I am taking that special bond away from my sister and her child. Breastfeeding creates a special bonding between mother and child.

Hayley - posted on 06/07/2010

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Also i feed of my aunty and my cousin feed of my mum. so of corse i thnk it gr8 n natural

Hayley - posted on 06/07/2010

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thats awesum. me and my sister have always said wel jst breastfeed eachothers kids f we needed. her daughter is 8months and my son is only 3. havnt had 2 yet bt nice 2 know im not t only 1 who is proably going 2 b doing it.

Tanya - posted on 06/07/2010

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I think that's wonderful! Back when families lived communally and everyone cared for the young together, I bet this was common even with non-family members! If you have more than enough milk for your own child, I say why not? Pretty selfless of you!

Victoria - posted on 06/07/2010

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Your doing such a great thing for him way to go. beside the heath an all the good thing breast milk you and him will have such a bond. I would do the same thing for my sister if she had a baby too

Julie - posted on 06/07/2010

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I think it is a great idea. Have you talked to your baby's doctor about any possible reasons not to do it? I was just reading an old copy of the LLL's magazine and they caution against co-nursing, but don't specify why. I assume it would have something to do with germ transfer, especially in cases where the babies are not old enough to be immunized yet.

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As long as you and your sister are ok with it then I don't see a problem...she tried pumping and it didn't work, so another booby is the next best thing...lol

Laila - posted on 06/07/2010

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You r a great mum and doing an awesome job in my country if 2 babies nurse togather they become brother and sisters, so good luck.

Nicole - posted on 06/07/2010

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what an absolutely beautiful gift that you've given your nephew and sister! Way to go!

Celia - posted on 06/07/2010

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thats fantastic! How great to have such a supportive extended family for the little guy :)
Many cultures practice dry nursing as well to sooth a crying baby when its away from its mom (not everyone has access to soothers) and I think thats great too.
I have a friend who wet nursed her sisters baby when his mom was in the hospital. Such a great thing to do! :)

Brenda - posted on 06/06/2010

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Oh, and I would do it in a second, or donate, but I take prozac, which makes me inelligible to do either. :)

Brenda - posted on 06/06/2010

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Awesome! Good for you! You are an incredible inspiration. Please, please, tell people about what you are doing, because it is amazing. If only more women would wetnurse for others or donate their breastmilk, we would break reliance on the huge formula companies, because they don't care about babies, they care about money. Sad, but very true. :)

Becky - posted on 06/06/2010

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I think that is a wonderful thing to do!
Honestly, I don't know how I would feel about actually nursing someone else's child. My little sister has a 2 month old baby, and my mom, my sister, and I have discussed it. she was planning on going back to school to do her clinical and my mom wondered if I would breastfeed her if my sister wasn't able to pump enough for her. Both my sister and I felt a little weird about it, (and my husband did not like the idea at all, although he is completely supportive of me breastfeeding our son), but I would totally give her my expressed milk, and I have donated milk before, to a stranger.
If it came down to it and we had no pumped milk for her, I would breastfeed her before I would give her formula.

Jessica - posted on 06/06/2010

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I think that is awesome. I'd do the same, and I'd much rather my baby have real milk from a mum I trusted than formula. Glad you know about the WHO guidelines (first mum's milk direct from breast, then mum's milk pumped, then donated milk from another mum, then artificial milk). I don't understand how people can think that milk from a cow, however processed, is better for a human baby than milk from another human...

Jennifer - posted on 06/06/2010

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So if you are against wetnursing, imagine how you feel if you saw a baby hooked up to a cows utters!! It's only our squemish culture that looks on it as strange. To be honest though, I am having a hard time giving my 7 month old another moms milk I bought, so I have my husband do it. BUT when I hear screams of hunger after nursing my child, I can't explain how greatful I am to the mom who is comfortable to do this. My 3 children have never been able to tolerate formula. My eldest had major complications from soy now drinks goat milk, my 2nd drinks hemp milk, and my 3rd child is drinking milk from another momma :) I think the breastmilk is probably the best.

Liz - posted on 06/06/2010

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I supplied breast milk for my nephew when his mom couldn't pump enough. Our boys are 54 weeks apart and I had a TON of BM left after my baby stopped nursing. And she and her sister had babies a day apart and she nursed her niece.

Heather - posted on 06/06/2010

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I agree with you i am not sure if i could have Alyssa feeding from anyone else, one of the best things about BF is the bond i have formed with her and the thought of her bonding in that way with someone else in that way.... well i would have to seriously think about if i could deal with that if it ever came up but i would have no problem bottle feeding her someone elses milk as long as i could go with them to get thoroughly checked out medically first

Christina Marie - posted on 06/06/2010

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If for some reason I couldn't BF my LO I would be more then happy to feed her someone elses milk, but I don't think I could let her BF from another woman. I don't know if its a jealousy thing or what, but I just wouldn't be comfortable.
Also to breastfeed another womans baby. I guess I would have to be in the position to know how I would feel about it..

Jennifer - posted on 06/06/2010

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I have been supplying my cousin with milk because she is struggling with low milk supply. I offered her some of the many, many bags of frozen milk that I have and she happily accepted and is bottle feeding her little one with it. I can see how people my find this odd but I have an over-abundance of milk and will never get to the stuff in the freezer . . . this way it is being used and it benefits her little one.
Good for you. I admit it would be odd to actually breastfeed another baby but it is something I think I would get over quickly.

Heather - posted on 06/06/2010

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At the end of the day you do what you think is best for your children and family, although i have never really considered wetnursing thinking about it now i know that i would do it in a heartbeat.. the only thing strange about it is that some people consider it to be strange. congratulations on a great job... you want to help your nephew get the best start in life and i think that it is quite heroic.

Sarah - posted on 06/06/2010

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Don't let anyone tell you that you are doing something gross or wrong! You are doing something awesome and amazing, may God bless you for your big heart! I would do the same for my sister. And in my culture, any other baby under the age of 2 that you breastfeed becomes your 'foster child' and will be like a brother or sister to your children:)

Angie - posted on 06/06/2010

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i nursed my friends son 13 years ago only a couple times and him and i are closer then any of her children i felt a connection with him and her last son i gave her my extra milk i had stored cuz i did not need it i think there should be some place moms can meet and give milk cuz i feel horrable when i have to throw it away but dont have extra this time lol im nursing twins.so id like to say great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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