Milk Sharing?

[deleted account] ( 36 moms have responded )

Wondering what everyone thinks of milk sharing, either via wet nursing a baby other than your own or pumping and donating breastmilk to another woman/baby. I am NOT talking about donating BM to a milk bank -- I'm talking about direct donations.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/23/2011

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Things have changed so much in 10 years, are you really surprised that customs done 100 years ago are not normal now?

Vicki - posted on 09/23/2011

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I'm ok with it and have done it. Provided my expressed milk to a friend with hypoplastic breasts and directly fed her bub a few times.

36 Comments

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Tanya - posted on 09/24/2011

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Yep, I would absolutely rather give my child donated breast milk than artificial milk. I wouldn't want him to be wetnursed on a regular basis, though...I would rather use an SNS to feed him the donor milk at MY breast. But, if the donor was nearby, I would make sure she kissed him often, so that she would make the antibodies he needed most! :)

I would nurse someone else's baby, and I would donate...I thought about donating with this baby, but I HATE pumping, and my lifestyle is such that it's just too much of a hassle. If I had the time to pump, I would be happy to donate!

[deleted account]

I wouldn't mind as long as I knew she was completely healthy and disease free (and I'm sure another mother would want to know the same of me had I donated.)

Firebird - posted on 09/23/2011

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Yea, see in a situation like Sara H. mentioned I would probably consider it, but the way it was originally presented to me, many years ago when I started formula feeding, completely turned me off from it. Frankly it creeped me right out.

Brittany - posted on 09/23/2011

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If I had breast cancer and could not feed my child or if there was an allergic reaction to formula then yes 100% I would. If someone in my family needed me to I would.

I think milk banks are great. I think it is fantastic to see other mothers helping out mothers and children in need. It is nice to know there are other mothers out there who are willing to share like that. I know that sounds creepy and all but, I think it is fantastic and respectable.

[deleted account]

I'll give you an instance and I think we've discussed it before. My cousin was allergic to all formula. She was hospitalized and deathly ill for a week until a nurse told my aunt to switch pediatricians. She did. The new one that the nurse recommended prescribed mother's milk. She received banked milk, but also needed to supplement with donations. Any type of formula made her violently ill so there was no other choice.

[deleted account]

My perspective is 100% for it because donated milk and wet nurses saved my cousin's life. I know moms that are currently sharing milk. If something were to happen to me today, I have two cousins (including the one who received milk as a baby) that are lactating and I would trust to feed my baby. It's just my husband's fear of liability that's stopping me from sharing. Does anyone know anything about that...resources? If I could be assured that we would be protected by law, I would milk share. Like I said, nothing wrong with my milk...but people are so litigious these days.

April - posted on 09/23/2011

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i'm okay with it. i've got the opposite view as Sherri. i'd only consider formula if my child's health depended on it. i'm sure Sherri would consider donor breast milk if her child's life depended on it. I read an article about a little girl with IUGR whose mom could not lactate. She is begging for breast milk for her daughter because her daughter is allergic to all other milk.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/23/2011

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I also think it looks like most posters on here are okay with it in some form or another so I don't know that times have changed all that much. Or maybe times are just returning to normal.

I think the difference between now and then is a) we have a much better understanding of disease and other things that can have an ill effect and b) we don't live in the same sort of communities anymore. Probably 100 years ago I'd know my neighbours and there'd be other mothers around and it would be more likely there'd be other nursing mums in close proximity. People didn't move as much so you'd be more likely to have known your neighbours and such a long time. I don't have anyone like that here. My friends and I never seem to sync our babies up and my family is all living far away.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/23/2011

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I remember out of curiosity I looked into eats on feets in my area (after being guilt tripped by my lactivist friend) and there was only one woman offering. She had written her offer all in text talk - you know the sort of thing I'm talking about. I try not to be judgmental but umm...no.

[deleted account]

My grandmother wet nursed a number of her friend's kids growing up. She said that back in the day, if you were watching someone else's child and were nursing, it was normal and expected that you would nurse that child along with your own. Strange that things have changed so much in less than 100 years that a lot of the posters here think nursing someone else's baby is odd or not something they would do.

Johnny - posted on 09/23/2011

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I used an acquaintances' milk from time to time with my daughter. It was pumped & frozen. We had no problems at all with it. I would do it again if necessary. I would not get it over the internet from someone I didn't know though.

When she was a newborn, we also received some from the milk bank.

JuLeah - posted on 09/23/2011

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From the dawn of time and found in all cultures ... all mammals. Normal natural ...just fine with it

[deleted account]

I would of given my milk expressed but not put another childs baby to my own breast.(but then again i was never in the position to do so)so maybe i would be okay.

If i couldn't feed my own i doubt i could another baby.



I chose to stop b/f and i had a lot milk.I am very healthy and my milk was very rich .I don't smoke or drink also or have medical problems lol you swear i was advertising myself there lol.

It was a waste of b/milk being honest but b/f was not for us sadly and if i could of done something like give it to another child that would of been brilliant.

Lady - posted on 09/23/2011

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I couldn't personally have my children drink an other womand milk and I wouldn't ever offer to donate mine as I would worry that I would then not be giving my child the best, but if others want to then I have no problem - it's their choice.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/23/2011

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It kinda creeps me out. I am not for it personally, but have at it. I would only give BM to a family member, but I would not except other peoples.

[deleted account]

I think its wonderful. Mothers should be helping each other.

I wanted to milk share. I talked to my husband about it, but he's worried about legal ramifications should something happen to the baby that got my milk (not that anything is wrong with my milk). So I'm hoping to donate to a bank instead.

Stifler's - posted on 09/22/2011

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Doesn't bother me I doubt any of my friends would be into it though haha as long as the person can prove they don't have hep b or AIDS.

[deleted account]

I personally would not be comfortable using donated breast milk form someone I knew. Breast milk was offetred to me at one point when my son was about 3-4 mnths old and I was friendly with someone who was a mega-milk machine. But I declined. Just not for me, but I could understand why many other mothers use that option.

Minnie - posted on 09/22/2011

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LLLI as an organization (the beauracracy) is a far cry from the Leaders who make it up, Kate. But I know you know that. Most are supportive of it. but we can't tell you that ;)

Minnie - posted on 09/22/2011

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I'm a huge supporter. If I couldn't breastfeed I'd seek out a milk sharing arrangement in a heartbeat.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/22/2011

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I'd do it with someone I knew very well, but not some random stranger on facebook like a friend of mine suggested.

Charlie - posted on 09/22/2011

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I think it is fantastic provided the doner clears a health check.

[deleted account]

If I knew the person I wouldn't have an issue with it. To my mind your giving the immune system benefits of that person as well as giving your own.

Firebird - posted on 09/22/2011

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I wouldn't accept donated milk from anyone. It would have to be an extremely unfortunate circumstance to change my mind. But that's just me. It is great that the option is available for people who are comfortable with it though.

Ez - posted on 09/22/2011

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Yeah I certainly wouldn't accept donated milk found on the Internet. But if it was someone I knew and trusted, I wouldn't hesitate.

Caitlin - posted on 09/22/2011

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I volunteered to donate my stored up breastmilk to a woman that needed it at one point (through an online linking site) but I figure she didn't want it in the end. I fully disclosed my medical history to her, maybe that was a factor (i'm on corticosteroids for my asthma..) I have no issues DONATING my milk, but in receiving, i'm not all that sure. I've never really had supply issues, so i've never really had to think about it that much, but I don't think i trust people enough to be upfront about any medications and/or diet things that I would find concerning.

I wouldn't mind nursing a friends baby, it would be 100% natural in my mind, and as long as i had enough milk - why not?

Ez - posted on 09/22/2011

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I think it's great. Within reason of course. I would only be comfortable if it were a close relative or friend, if they had a clear bill of health and did not smoke or drink while BFing. Wet-nursing would only be an issue in an emergency I guess (where you hadn't been able to prepare and pump yourself before hand), but I'd be ok with someone else feeding my baby in that case.

As for donating, I wish I'd had someone close donate milk to me when my supply failed. And I would certainly be willing to if I ever found myself with an over-supply and someone needed it.

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