Wetnursing

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011 ( 82 moms have responded )

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Since the more taboo side of extended breastfeeding has arisen, how does everyone feel about wetnursing? I have wetnursed two of my nephews and my daughter has wetnursed off of my sister. I find it normal as long as (and isn't this the case with any aspect of breastfeeding?) it's mutually desired by both woman, mom and baby and it remains a healthy relationship.

What do you think?

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Jennifer - posted on 01/08/2011

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meeeow.



i didn't get the impression that julianne was trying to be insulting at all. i get what she was trying to say :-/ Rebecca, i don't think she was trying to "educate" you, or know more about your own parenting than you do i think she was just trying to say that people tend to think of AP as this extremist style of parenting where it is all or nothing when in reality we kind of all just naturally incorporate some of the AP ideas into whatever kind of parenting we go with.



for example, the focus of AP is responding to a childs needs...well, we all do that no matter what parenting style you identify with. when a child is upset or hurt, we can't help but comfort them. you, too Kati, even though you think AP is weird :-P sure, you've got all the other stuff that makes AP stand out the most like babywearing, and co sleeping but when you strip it all away, its just about responding to a child's needs in a gentle way to help raise gentle and kind hearted children.



*edit to add* and before i get attacked, i just want to add that i didn't mean to imply that you HAVE to be AP in order to raise gentle and kind hearted children :-P

Amanda - posted on 01/07/2011

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i don't think anyone said it's wrong or gross..... i just said i'm not particularly comfortable with it for myself.....

Minnie - posted on 01/07/2011

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I think it's great. It's what humans have done for as long as we have existed. Human milk for human babies.

Rosie - posted on 01/08/2011

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i honestly think it's weird. i can't help it, it really weirds me out. it's nice....but weird.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2011

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You know Kathy, I do agree with you. Independance is SO over-rated, over-pushed and over-expected...especially when they're just toddlers! BUT, in my experience of watching many of my nieces and nephews grow up in AP style parenting, breastfed for years (I actually have the shortest length of ttime among my sisters for breastfeeding a child at 20 months! ), and seeing so many of my friends children being raised under different circumstances (no AP, no kangaroo care, no or minimal breastfeeding...) what I see is that the children I know raised under AP and with extended BF'ing are MORE independant, just naturally. There is absolutely nothing wrong with raising your children in a non AP style or not breastfeeding or using kangaroo care, I just see a difference in the children, that's all. Not a good or bad difference, just...a difference.

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Kim - posted on 01/08/2011

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I guess my Great Grandmother was a wet nurse for one of her sisters children. She was not able to nurse her for some reason.

Stifler's - posted on 01/08/2011

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I don't see a problem with it as long as everyone is comfortable. I don't think people where I live really do it much but I don't know. No one I know has.

[deleted account]

I've been away from COM for a few days, and I just tried to read back through this thread a little and I'm confused. So instead of picking up where it was left off, I'm simply going to answer the OP. =)

I'm all for wet nursing. My cousin would be dead...DEAD...if it weren't for wet nurses and donated breast milk.

[deleted account]

i was jokingly going along with it, i am a bit of a smart ass.



i deliberately complimented her intelligence so she knew i wasn't referring to her when i said i was pointing it out so others could open their mind about it. i guess it didn't work out that way.

Rosie - posted on 01/08/2011

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i'm only gonna respond once because i don't want to argue, and you explained yourself. but you called her slow ( i know she said it first, but it didn't seem like you were joking when you went along with it) and then you start talking about how only educated people understand how to learn from debate,implying in my mind- and obviously hers, that she's not educated. it just seemed to flow very nicely together as one great big insult.



after reading it probably 20 times i finally can see where you were coming from, but it took me awhile. maybe i'm slow too ;) bahahaha!! JK.

Jane - posted on 01/08/2011

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I think if it's something you are comfortable with, that's great but for me, I couldn't nor wouldn't do it...not for anyone but my own children.

Charlie - posted on 01/08/2011

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You know I hate that western culture has it so built into them that the very young should be independant before they are ready , it is sad IMO .

A child who has a strong attachment to their parents are much more confidant and show a much more secure style of independance unlike those who have it forced upon them yes they have independence but in a much different way .
I witnessed these children everyday at my school ,it was easy to tell having a good teacher / parent relationship , AP is at it's very core is instictive , I get what Julianne is trying to say when she says you probably have some AP leanings without knowing it , it is hard not to really , it isn't a "movement" it's as old as the first parent , it has been practiced for centuries around the world .

Attachment parenting is parenting from the heart. It is listening to your own instincts and understanding that no one knows your children quite like you do. While there is no set criteria for being an AP parent, there are some commonalities among APers such as breastfeeding , co sleeping , babywearing , using posotive forms of discipline ect .
AP is as old as time. Long before there were books and experts telling parents what to think, what to do, and how to parent, there was AP. AP is instinctive parenting. Just as an animal knows exactly what her offspring needs, so do human parents.

I know lots of little AP raised children who are incredibly outgoing and confidant .

[deleted account]

Kati i honestly was not trying to be sarcastic.

I'm still trying to figure out why so many think that of me....i re-read this a few times and still cant figure out what would make it sarcastic. I was not trying to offend anyone.

Jodi - posted on 01/08/2011

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Actually, I didn't see Julianne's posts as insulting either, or sarcastic, especially her first post.

Rosie - posted on 01/08/2011

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i get what you're saying jennifer, :) BUT there are obvious differences, otherwise you would do the things i do (don't really know what it's called, lol) and there wouldn't be different names for each of our parenting styles. but yeah, we all incorporate some AP into our parenting styles.



in response to juliannes posts though, i thought they came off as very sarcastic, and don't know how anybody could've missed that. maybe thats what rebecca was talking about?

[deleted account]

all i was saying, is no matter what parenting style people choose to be labeled with, they take other aspects of parenting styles and incorporate it into their own. i was simply pointing out that everyone uses some aspect of attachment parenting with their child, if they didnt, they would not bond with their children. By pointing this out to someone who, when having a good day, would discuss it. OTHER individuals who condemn certian parenting styles can read the debate and LEARN from it.

[deleted account]

by calling her open minded and saying she understands diversity when it comes to parenting....yepp im one insulting bitch i tell you .

[deleted account]

Pointed out to someone who is open minded and understands diversity when it comes to parenting.


how in the hell did you take THAT as an insult

Mrs. - posted on 01/08/2011

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I'm so uneducated...I've lost the ability to type. I pride myself in the fact I've never closed down a thread. If I were to continue explaining why what you continue expressing is insulting...I would. So I'll take my uneducated brain to somes schools wheres I'sa gonna learnid how other people knows more abouts how I riaseing my kid. Kisses.

[deleted account]

Not taught to you. Pointed out to someone who is open minded and understands diversity when it comes to parenting. That way when someone who condemns certian parenting styles would see it and they could learn from it. The point of a debate is not for educated people to learn(although its a bonus), its for the uneducated to learn from all aspects and draw conclusions for themselves.

Mrs. - posted on 01/08/2011

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Yes, that's why I wrote that because I didn't get the point you were making. It's hard being unable to understand all this hard parenting stuff...so complex and nuanced too hard to understand!!!!

I guess I should just agree and accept the things that are being taught to me, even if it's things like, the sky is blue. I am wrong, I must be an AP parent and I didn't know it. I guess my kid is going to be super independent cause I was told so.

[deleted account]

oh? i didn't know you were slow. I'll be careful about what i say to you from now on. Wouldn't want to offend you because you dont get the point im trying to make..

[deleted account]

The only clinginess my son has is that he refuses to sleep in his own bed. We play ring aroudn the beds in my home. Since we all need to get up for work/school, I could care less where he sleeps. Find a bed, sleep in it. If it comforts my son to snuggle in between us, then so be it. According to my son, he said he will be 40 years old when he finally sleeps in his own bed by himself! I hope he will outgrow his wanting to sleep with mommy & daddy soon. But bedtime is the only real clingy issue we have, and like I said, when my alarm goes off at 4:30 am, and hubby's goes off at 6:00 am, we all need sleep.

Mrs. - posted on 01/08/2011

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Hmm...thank you for educating me about my own parenting style. I probably know nothing and have not actually looked into any of these "schools" of thought myself because I'm a bit slow.

[deleted account]

Again, i was just pointing out you more than likely use AP techniques with your child. Unless you raise your child military style that is..

Mrs. - posted on 01/08/2011

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Again, I'm well aware of AP through it's supporters. I know that AP folks feel it's the right thing to do, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. I just prefer to get it from a more objective source.

[deleted account]

Its proven that the more secure a child is with their parents, the more independent they become, insecurity leads to unsure children who are more clingy and less likely to make decisions for themselves because they always doubt themselves. Attachment parenting is about nurturing not only the child, but the relationship between mother and child. People practice AP skills all the time and don't even know it. Rebecca, you probably have a few AP techniques yourself.

People tell me all the time my daughter will be clingy. Shes so far from that its not even fit. Polar opposite of clingy.

Mrs. - posted on 01/08/2011

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Those parents who are AP are going to say that it is the best way to create an independent child because they believe in the movement. They practice it, so they would believe that it would create those type of kids, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it.

I'm more apt to believe studies or observation in my own community about AP-not the source. It's just not that objective.

Jennifer - posted on 01/08/2011

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i've noticed that as well, jodi! what is interesting is that the parents that i know that don't follow AP are very quick to tell me that my son is going to grow up clingy...even though he is visibly more independent than their own children. i don't really know any other AP moms in real life, though so its only my sons independence that i can go by.

[deleted account]

I love the concept. I occasionally breastfed a friend's baby and vice versa, but only after mutual agreement.
There seems to be such an emphasis on separateness, which is sad. I tend to think independence is overrated sometimes.

[deleted account]

I would personally be very uncomfortable nursing someone else's baby, or if someone nursed my child. Definatley out of my comfort zone. I guess I am weirded out by wetnursing, altough I know it's a common practice in so many countries.

Johnny - posted on 01/07/2011

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I would do it if it was necessary. Maybe not for sheer convenience, but if someone with whom I was close could not provide breastmilk or not enough, I would be willing. Although, I have significant supply issues of my own, so I wouldn't make a good solitary wetnurse, I'd need back up.

I would have been thrilled if it had been an option when my daughter needed it. I received donated milk until she regained her birth weight, but after that, she was ineligible and had to receive formula supplements until 5 months.

[deleted account]

I've had that urge before, I've had let down from another baby in distress. The let down only in the first couple of months when i still leaked. I would never feed a child without the permission of the mom though, that's overstepping boundaries. Any random child would be weird...

Mrs. - posted on 01/07/2011

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It's snot heaven here at my house and Daddy is working nights...fun! Yes, I should be steering clear of everyone but I gotta blow off stem somehow.

[deleted account]

Uh oh! Sorry... maybe we should stay away from each other for a couple of days. ;) Hope the baby feels better soon!! My son has been sick all week. Not VERY sick, but VERY cranky.

Mrs. - posted on 01/07/2011

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Fair enough Theresa. I'm on the rag, have a cold and watched an equally sick baby all night...I'm pretty edgy myself.

Mrs. - posted on 01/07/2011

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I never produced much in general. My mom bought me all these breast pads cause she was like, you're going to need them! I ended up using them as baby bum wipes. I never once leaked through my shirt. My boobs are huge but apparently, they aren't yielders.

[deleted account]

I didn't read past the 'tempted' post.... since I'm the only one that said I thought about it and didn't do it. As in thought about it for TWO seconds and never considered actually doing it.... BIG difference from being 'tempted'.



Fine to address what I've said, but at least do it correctly.



And yes, I'm starting to PMS..... ;)

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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You never had letdown when another baby cried? I'm so jealous of you! Well after my daughter stopped crying to be fed and just made clear signs she was hungry, another baby would cry and there I'd go! I used to keep extra shirts and bras in my car, and always wore nursing pads to family gatherings and such places. It was AWEFUL! lol

Mrs. - posted on 01/07/2011

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Ahem, I did breastfeed for three months. I do know what it feels like. Other babies crying for me didn't really give me let down or anything. It's my baby's cry that really did it. I get it, the whole wanting to do it if some kid is screaming...still I just wanted to make the point that if anyone acted on it without my permission-I'd be twisting their nipples till they cried.

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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Rebecca, MANY breastfeeding moms that *I* know have felt the instinct to comfort a crying infant with their breast, it's what we know. Have any of them just up and done it without asking anyone? Absolutely not that I know. Having instincts and acting upon them are two different things. I honestly don't know anyone (I know quite a few people who have wetnursed) who ever nurse someone elses child without that mother's consent. Instincts and actions can, and often are, very different things.

But I agree, as much as I'm okay with my sister wetnursing my child, I would be pissed if she had ever done it without ever talking about it asking. I really don't think that happens very often at all, and the other mother has every right to be mad. (although I do draw a line at violence.)

Mrs. - posted on 01/07/2011

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Yeah, it reminds me of the character LN in the movie Away We Go. Just the mention of her name to another mother on campus who she breastfeed without asking makes the mom flip out.

Charlie - posted on 01/07/2011

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Ah ok , I remember having the debate about that a while back when a grandmother offered her breast to her baby grandchild ( although not lactating ) its another good topic !

But I can understand the sudden urge to want to breastfeed another persons child in distress , I was actually just talking about this yesterday with a friend how sometimes you get the urge to comfort a child with breastfeeding ,not that I ever would but the instinct is there , I wouldn't be pleased if someone breastfed my baby without my full knowledge of what they ingest into their bodies either .

I would need full clarity of their diet before deciding if they could .

Mrs. - posted on 01/07/2011

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Yeah, I get that Loureen. However, I believe someone said, they were tempted to do it once when watching a child that was crying. I was addressing that.

Charlie - posted on 01/07/2011

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I don't think that is what is being asked Rebecca , I think she was asking what you think about wetnursing as a mutual decision between mother and wetnurse .

Mrs. - posted on 01/07/2011

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Do what you like. However, if you touch my kid, even if she's crying and you are watching her, then feed her with your breast without my permission-I will be hurting you. I don't know what you eat, I don't know what you take, hell I don't know what you have.

Do what you want with your own and anyone else that gives you permission. Otherwise, keep your boobies to yourself, thanks.

Tara - posted on 01/07/2011

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I would have wet-nursed my nephews, or friends children if needed, and would have been okay with them nursing my own, but the situation never came up.

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