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Would you breast feed someone elses child? - Page 7

Poll Results: Would you bf someone else's child?

  • 54% (410)
  • 9% (70)
  • 36% (278)
    Depends on who .... ie family, close friends
758 Total Votes  
post #121 of 235
I have not done it. I feel iffy about it...I can see doing it, but I also have American cultural hangups that make me feel uncomfortable about the idea. I would definitely pump for another child or a milk bank.

Someone once offered to nurse my baby, and not only was I personally uncomfortable, but with my history of supply problems with both babies, I did not want to replace a single feeding.

Haven't read the whole thread, but remember that in our culture we are taught to fear the milk of other moms, by the larger culture...what if she has HIV! What if she has hepatitis! What if she does drugs!: If only we as a culture were taught to fear the KNOWN risks of formula as much.

In her book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, Dr. Christiane Northrup (OB-GYN) writes:

the best time I ever had with my children when they were little(three month and two years) was when I went to visit my mother while my my sister and her children were visiting. My sister was also nursing a baby at that time, so when I wanted to go out for a while, she simply nursed Kate for me, as women have been doing for centuries. (Kate looked up at her, wide-eyed, for the first time, as if to say, "Who is this?" Then she settled right down to her meal.)....

...This was my only experience of what a loving tribe must have felt like.
post #122 of 235
I would and I have. A friend of mine was having trouble nursing her second child at first, so I offered to try. He was taking between five minutes and two hours to latch onto her nipple, but took about 10 seconds on mine. It really frustrated her, but at the same time, she now knew that he could do it, so it kind of gave her a second wind.
My daughter has also nursed from another mama. Another friend was watching her one evening, and her daughter and mine both attacked her on the living room floor. They were fighting each other for boobie. She had to call her husband for help. She was worried that I might be mad because she didn't have my permission, but I was amused by the whole thing.
post #123 of 235
I would if it were a close friend also! I talked to a friend about it, who switched to formula after only a few days. We have talked about getting pg again at the same time and I said I would help her watch the baby for her and nurse him/her while my freind was at work. We are very close and I was so surprised when she said she would not want me to do that and seemed very offended. :
post #124 of 235
Thread Starter 
This is amazing to me that this thread is still going on! WOW!!!

Since I started this my thought have changed a little... I would do it for sureif the mom was behind it. And I would allow one of my friends to nurse my child if the need arose. Of coarse none of this has come up! But I would be OK with it if it ever did, where as before I was kind of on the fence.

Thanks evveryone for you thoughts on this!

post #125 of 235
I wanted to bf my step niece when I was visiting her. When I'm holding her and she fusses, that's what my instinct tells me to do. However, I'm sure her mom would consider it "unnecessary", when she's got formula she can mix up. I could vent more about her, but this isn't the thread for that!
However, I also found that when I thought about it, I felt like nursing another child would feel like betrayal of my own daughter. Almost like cheating on my husband. So I don't know if I could do it. I think it's neat in theory though. DH always thinks it's a bad idea. We talked about it when it came up with step-sis. He reminded me about disease (which I am free of), and my allergies. He asked "Would you want to risk passing on your allergies to Rylee (niece)?" I said I didn't think nursing a few times would do that, if at all.

I think everyone immediately involved needs to agree on it before it is done, or have some mutual understanding
post #126 of 235
...IMHO just the opposite would be true, about the allergies
nursing passes on the antibodies in the milk
nurse away!
post #127 of 235
I wouldn't want anyone to nurse my son, because he has multiple food allergies. In a pinch, my friend Kate could, because she is avoiding dairy for her daughter. In a real emergency, though, I guess milk from a healthy mother, even if it does have allergens, would beat the straight consumption of dairy or soy formula, which are both problems for my son.

When I have my next child, Kate's going to give me some milk in case we have to transport to the hospital and supplementation is necessary.

I would nurse another baby in a heartbeat, though not a stranger in a daycare! Permission would be important, barring an emergency.

post #128 of 235
About allergies.
When you have allergies, your body produces antibodies to things that aren't diseases, like peanuts. The point my dh had was that by bfeeding someone else's child, there was a risk of passing not only good antibodies, but those unnecessary ones that cause allergies. Studies to determine the risks involved with sllergies and milk are just coming out. I have decided that bm is still obviouly the best choice, but another mom may not want to take that risk.
I'm not saying bm is bad, not am I 100% sure that allergies are passed on in milk, it's just a point of view...
post #129 of 235
I'm not talking about passing on antibodies, but about a mother passing on the *allergens* she has eaten through her breastmilk. Specifically, if I drink cows' milk, the casein passes directly out of my gut into my milk, and my son reacts to it. Same for a number of other things, which thankfully no longer cause a problem.

It had never occurred to me that if a mom was allergic to peanuts, say, that the IgE that causes the allergy could be passed through her milk to sensitize the child. My understanding is that it is the peanut protein via breastmilk that stimulates the child to produce his own IgE to cause a reaction.

Our situation was that the dairy shredded my son's little gut, making him susceptible to forty-leven other allergens. He is pretty much healed up now. I have no allergies whatsoever to foods.

post #130 of 235
This is an awesome thread, and brings back such sweet memories!

I had a good freind, and after a traumatic brith followed by a stay in the NICU, her dd would not nurse. At about 2 weeks, the mom asked me to try and nurse her baby, just to see if she would. My friend then nursed my son, who was 6 weeks old. Her dd would not latch on to me, but my ds did latch on to her. As it worked out, her dd never nursed, but she pumped for 4 months., After about the first month, she couldn't keep up with her baby's demand, so I started pumping for her baby too. We called our babies "milk-sibs"
When she had her second baby, I nursed him once or twice as well. I didn't feel weird about it.
I am also a day care provider, and I have had MANY bf babies in my care. But there was only one family I would ever consider wet-nursing for. The mom found out she was pg, and since my nursling was a bit older, she needed to bring it up with me before my supply dried up. I was more than willing to do it, and she preferred to have her baby recieve breastmilk even when she was unavailable. She also had major supply issues with her first dd. Well, she lost the baby early, so it was never realized.
There are only certain people I could do it for.
I really would not have a problem with someone I knew nursing one of my babies. I would rather that than formula.
post #131 of 235
This thread is an incredible read! I do think that if asked I would gladly nurse another babe. I wouldn't do so without permission.

I'm now just sad that I don't have a friend/sister that I'm that close to !

Jealousy does come into mind when I think of someone else nursing my dd but it's better than formula!

I agree that my hurt feelings are better than my baby hungry!
post #132 of 235
Yes, but ONLY with the moms consent.
My ds (1.5) won’t nurse my Sister, but her now 8 month old doesn’t mind. (This works great for those long extended car trips, who ever is in the back with the kid’s leans over the crying baby and nurses away. Its also very comforting to know if something ever happened… that he could still have his “ninis” and get the nutrition and love he needs. The family story is that when I was 2 and while my little sister was being born, our midwife (still today) nursed me, as she had a dd my age at home waiting. I have always thought we should have “mama milk” banks, but with all the scary blood born stuff it’s just too risky. To bad!
post #133 of 235

We do have mama milk banks! They follow much the same procedure as blood banks, using sterile collection and pasteurization to make sure the milk is clean. Babies have to have a prescription, and they have to be pretty sick or allergic to qualify. The milk is technically free, but the handling charges are $2.50 per ounce. Talk about liquid gold!
post #134 of 235
wow that is soooo cool!
post #135 of 235


I think it would be great and I am so happy to read the wonderful stories in this thread. Seems, like I have found a new board to read!!!

I wish I had the chance to, but a girlfriend and I have decided that if something happened to us, we would share comfort "milky" with the child who lost its mother. Hopefully that will never come to pass.

Great thread ladies!!
post #136 of 235
My husband and I did go out one night and leave my dd with my friend who also has a dd the same age and I did tell her if the only way to calm her down was to bf her then go right ahead. This is a friend that I know and trust highly. So she did nurse her and it did help and it made me feel better that I left her with somebody that could take care of her needs. Her and her husband might go out soon to get some needed alone time and and we made an agreement that we'll nurse eachothers kids if needed.
= )
post #137 of 235

No for at least 2 reasons

I would not allow anyone else to nurse my baby - besides the obvious other germs she could pick up I do not want anyone else bonding with my baby in that way. While I agree anyone who feeds a baby regularly whether at the breast or with bottle will bond with them, I like the fact that I am the only one with Mama's milk. Also I would not nurse anyone else's baby because I would not want to expose my baby to germs from the other baby. For instance besides things like thrush, etc. Some illnesses such as the flu can be dormant in yoru system for a few days before you have symtpoms. You could think you are nursing a perfectly healthy baby and then a few hours later they come down with the flu or God knows what else. I am a SAHM but I plan ahead for my baby if I need to be away for a few hours I have a bottle or bottles pumped. As for an emergency - well I have a few bottles of my milk in the freezer. There are times (esp. during a growth spurt) that you might not have time/energy/enough milk to do this so plan ahead when you can.
post #138 of 235


I am not pg yet; and doubt it will work out time wise; but I'd have no problem with feeding my sister's babes or having them feed mine.

It takes a village.

If there is a bond between the mothers...........

post #139 of 235
post #140 of 235
I would totally bf someone else's child.

My SIL once left her bf 6 month old with me. Mine was 3 mos old and fast asleep. Her baby REALLY wanted to nurse and she was on her way home in the car. She phoned me to put some water in a bottle to console him until she got there. He was not fooled and just got fussier. I wanted to nurse him sooooooo badly, but didn't because his mother and I had this discussion when we were both pregnant and she was totally grossed out by the notion. I respected her wishes.

I have since then quite frequently wanted to nurse her child who she force weaned very early and put on cow's milk. The poor little guy really misses the breast. But again I have never done it.

My best friend has nursed my baby occasionally when i have left her with her. I have no problem with it.

It's funny how many nursing mother quit nursing because they don't want to be "tied down" but if more mothers nursed and people didn't mind sharing breasts and babies you could leave your baby with another bfing woman occasionally and not be "tied down" at all!

I agree that there is no replacement for yuor actual mother though and think this kind of arrangment is only for special circumstances.

One last story. A friend's mother who AP'd back before it was popular once promised to watch a friend's baby and bf it during the day while the mom was at work if the mom bf it the rest of the time. The mother was desparate and agreed and it worked just fine. This mother was a working mom who never pumped and breasfed because she had a wetnurse.
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