Breastfeeding my nephew? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 06-08-2009, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my little brother's DF is about 6 months along now and my poor little brother has been out of a job for a while. He is hoping to get a job again soon, but either way, my near-SIL will be returning to work pretty early. She wants to breastfeed, and I have a pump for her. But I'm going to be the baby's primary sitter when my brother returns to work. In addition to the bottles of EBM my brother gives him, I was figuring when I watched him I would just nurse him myself. Save some time and effort and keep him more used to the breast for when she is home to feed him. Should I start pumping to increase my supply? Or just assume my body will adjust when he comes and I start watching him?

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#2 of 18 Old 06-08-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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You probably already thought of this, but did your near-SIL agree to you nursing him?

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#3 of 18 Old 06-08-2009, 10:48 PM
 
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Assuming the baby's mom agrees with your plan, my biggest concern would be that by feeding the baby your milk instead of mom's for all of his feeding needs, that you'd be sabotaging her supply. If you feed all of her EBM and nurse him on top of that, he won't take enough milk from her when he sees her to keep her supply up. This plan sounds like it would work to undermine mom's supply in much the same way that supplementing with formula would.
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#4 of 18 Old 06-08-2009, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
You probably already thought of this, but did your near-SIL agree to you nursing him?
Yes.

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Originally Posted by Picturesque View Post
Assuming the baby's mom agrees with your plan, my biggest concern would be that by feeding the baby your milk instead of mom's for all of his feeding needs, that you'd be sabotaging her supply. If you feed all of her EBM and nurse him on top of that, he won't take enough milk from her when he sees her to keep her supply up. This plan sounds like it would work to undermine mom's supply in much the same way that supplementing with formula would.
She would only be allowed to pump about once a day at work... maybe more if she chooses not to eat on her lunch break, so not enough for all of his daily feedings. So wouldn't she need to supplement anyway? If not, I'm totally willing to just bottle feed him.

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#5 of 18 Old 06-08-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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The standard advice is that "cross-nursing" is not recommended. One main concern is the spread of certain diseases, so I'd really suggest getting screened for HIV, Hep, Staph, and Strep. Most people test negative, but it's a good precaution.
In practice, cross nursing, or "wet nurses" have kept babies alive and healthy throughout human history. There is evidence that when babies get milk from more than one woman, they develop stronger immune systems.
I really do think your breastmilk could be a better choice than formula. So, I say, go for it. To help your sis' supply, let her nurse your babes, too.
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#6 of 18 Old 06-08-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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I think if you're all OK with it, go for it! I wouldn't pump; I'd just wait and see how it all goes. I agree with the rec to both get screened, just to be on the same side.

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#7 of 18 Old 06-09-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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If I were her, I'd take your pumped milk but I wouldn't want you nursing my baby. Can you use what she pumps and then make up for it w/ your milk?

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#8 of 18 Old 06-09-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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Having pumped for another while nursing my own, I'd personally get a stash going, now. I had supply issues while trying to donate and pump for another infant...It was harder for me than I thought it would be.

I think that cross-nursing is fine unless you're a blood-born disease carrier...been there done that w/o incidence...I think that the nurturing part of bf-ing is valid and as important as the nutritional aspect.
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#9 of 18 Old 06-09-2009, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think if you're all OK with it, go for it! I wouldn't pump; I'd just wait and see how it all goes. I agree with the rec to both get screened, just to be on the same side.
We were both screened for our 12 week prenatal visits.

Bri: mom to K: and M: at 27 weeks and 33 weeks :
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#10 of 18 Old 06-09-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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I, personally, could see shared breastfeeding being really beautiful. What a generous way to love your nephew. What a lovely way to promote closeness in our families.
Kudos and accolades, milky Mama!
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#11 of 18 Old 06-09-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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Assuming the baby's mom agrees with your plan, my biggest concern would be that by feeding the baby your milk instead of mom's for all of his feeding needs, that you'd be sabotaging her supply. If you feed all of her EBM and nurse him on top of that, he won't take enough milk from her when he sees her to keep her supply up. This plan sounds like it would work to undermine mom's supply in much the same way that supplementing with formula would.
As a WOHM who supplemented with just a little bit of formula, I think the option to supplement with a relative's BM would have been wonderful. The main thing I would suggest as a working mom is that you not feed the LO when your SIL is on her way to pick him up. You don't want him starving, of course, but if he is just slightly hungry when she gets home that will help them nurse.

We were reverse-cycled, and by the time DS was ~6 months old I could certainly get by with two pumpings a day, and sometimes just one. Every child is different, but if they reverse-cycle then her one pumping could be really close to enough.

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#12 of 18 Old 06-09-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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I'd be really worried about sabotaging her supply. Many working moms get by on a combination of pumping during the workday, and a reverse-cycling babe.

When my son was small, I'd pump twice while the baby was at daycare, he'd dive down my shirt when I picked him up, and then nurse in the evening and snack at night. I did get to the point where a single pumping session was enough, but there were days when I "supplemented" with extra pumping early in the morning, or right after he went to bed. Not only did I wind up with more than enough milk, but I felt that my son's identification of me as the unique source of the best possible food was the seed of the emotional connection that we have now.

If you nurse during the day, not only does the baby not reverse-cycle, but your SIL doesn't get the same sort of emotional feedback from her son. IF it were me, I would rather you pumped and fed him expressed milk while I was away.

For your SIL: I have never found that trading lunch for a pumping session is a good idea. Making milk takes calories! I would suggest both that she pack snacks so she can eat whenever she feels hungry (she's likely to feel hungry a lot), and that she get (or improvise) the kind of bra that can hold the pump attachments for you, so you can eat *and* pump.
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#13 of 18 Old 06-10-2009, 12:15 AM
 
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nak
i would only do it if it was between nurse him and formula. it could kill her supply, but it wouldn't matter if she was going to FF anyway

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#14 of 18 Old 06-10-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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I nursed my nephew occasionally -- his mom is a nurse who worked long hours without lots of pumping opportunities. It wasn't a part of his daily routine, but it got us all through a few rough spots, and hopefully it helped her make it to her goal (of 6 months, which she met). I think it's an awesome choice if she really can't pump a lot, though of course, I would recommend she pump as much as she can to keep up supply. Good for you at being willing to help!

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#15 of 18 Old 06-10-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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OP, what a generous Mama and Aunt you are!

I think that sounds like a great plan. Feed your nephew the pumped milk first (which is custom-made for him by his Mom), then nurse him for sessions that he would have to get formula for. PP had a good suggestion about not feeding him before your SIL picks him up. I always had my daycare not feed my DD for 1 hr. before I picked her up. That way she was hungry (but not desperate) and ready to nurse when I got her home.

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#16 of 18 Old 06-10-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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I say go for it, especially since it will keep her from having to use formula! If you're close, which it sounds like you are, if it was me, I wouldn't bother getting tests or anything-there have to be some people in your life you can trust!

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#17 of 18 Old 06-10-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by averlee View Post
i, personally, could see shared breastfeeding being really beautiful. What a generous way to love your nephew. What a lovely way to promote closeness in our families.
Kudos and accolades, milky mama!
yes!!
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#18 of 18 Old 06-10-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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If she is committed to it she can breastfeed him all by herself even if she can only pump once a day at work, especially if she is going to be with him for the first six weeks. She will just need to get his days & nights reversed so he nurses alot at night and less during the day.

I flip-flopped my opinion on wet nursing - I wouldn't nurse another person's child or visa versa because when DD was a month old I learned that DP had been sleeping with someone else and me also. Nothing in the world would have ever made me or anyone else who knew him guess that. STD testing at 12 weeks preggo is only accurate at that exact point in time. Not suggesting your DH is a creep, I'm just saying I didn't think mine was either...

I would suggest she consult a lactation specialist
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