I've heard of milk sharing, but what about baby sharing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 06-10-2013, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,


This is my first post in the Breastfeeding forum (I think). I have a bit of an odd question.


I have a friend whose baby just came home from the hospital at almost 6 months old--she was born with a CHD and had to have 3 surgeries since her birth. She has never been able to breastfeed (and probably won't anytime soon, if at all), but her mom has been exclusively pumping for her this whole time. Her supply has been decreasing recently, and she is worried it'll dry up entirely.


My baby is 6 weeks older and we have had a strong breastfeeding relationship since day 1--at 7 months old, he is a seasoned nurser, and I have a good supply. I am planning to pump some extra for my friend's baby, but I got to wondering. If the reason my friend's supply is down is because her baby isn't able to breastfeed, and the pump alone isn't sufficient in terms of demand, what if my friend nursed my baby? Not a lot, but just enough to get the oxytocin flowing and keep her milk from drying up? Would that totally mess with him or with my supply? I haven't suggested this to her because it seems outlandish and I have never read about such an arrangement. But it occurred to me that if I am willing to step in and help compensate for a deficiency on the "supply" side, why not also try to help create more "demand"?


Is this completely nuts? Has anyone here ever heard of someone nursing someone else's healthy baby to increase her own supply?


Many thanks!

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#2 of 3 Old 06-10-2013, 07:26 PM
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I've never really heard of the exact situation you are describing, though it does make sense to me that your friend could be experiencing supply issues due to pumping alone, since no pump is as efficient at extracting milk as a baby is. And I have seen pictures of women nursing other women's babies, so the idea doesnt seem terribly far fetched to me. Do you think your friend would be receptive to the idea? I think it's great that you are donating your milk to her, and that you are willing to go the extra mile to help her out!

Mama to Conejita 2/2/10 and Little Stinker 6/28/13. Expecting a surprise in late March!
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#3 of 3 Old 06-10-2013, 07:41 PM
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I don't see why not if she agrees. It has certainly been done--in traditional societies it probably happened all the time. Probably not as much so now in First World countries but it happens occasionally. I would only wonder if your son would go for it--that lady isn't Mommy! 

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