Would you be a wet nurse? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-23-2013, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Random thought that came to mind as I was nursing in the middle of the night. LOL  I, personally, would not be. I love nursing my babies, but I don't love nursing, if that makes sense.  I don't think I would be able to be a wet nurse.


How about you?

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#2 of 12 Old 07-23-2013, 11:22 AM
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I think I could deal with the nursing part, but now that I'm past the baby/toddler stage with my own kids, I feel zero desire to be responsible for the overall care of babies or toddlers anymore.  Are there wetnurses who only do the nursing, and none of the other care?

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#3 of 12 Old 07-23-2013, 12:09 PM
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Back when my kiddos were nursing, sure. Now, six years after weaning ds2, heck no! That season of my life had passed but if I could have tandem nursed one or two others with ds and made money for it I would have done it gladly.

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#4 of 12 Old 07-23-2013, 12:33 PM
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I would if it was a close friend's baby or family. for free.

but I would be not comfortable to doing it for money.

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#5 of 12 Old 07-23-2013, 12:46 PM
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Probably. Not as a full-time job though, I like what I do now :)

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds
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#6 of 12 Old 07-25-2013, 07:44 AM
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I wish it was more acceptable and I wish my breasts worked like taps (turn on to work and turn off when not needed...) wink1.gif

Every time I look after a baby and they cry I always wish I could just pacify them and my first instinct is always to snuggle them and nurse them. I don't of course but if a close friend or family said go for it than I totally would (if I had milk at the moment)!

But I would also totally relactate and wet nurse a baby if that baby lost it's mom and the dad wanted/needed breast milk/breast feeding for it. I

don't know if I'd be willing to do it as a full time job for just anyone though, it would have to be a really special case like above or just once in awhile for a friend.

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#7 of 12 Old 07-26-2013, 03:41 PM
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The only problem is that wet nursing is a more than full time job. I would time-share wet nurse. As in, I would split the time up (including night time) with like 5 other moms.

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#8 of 12 Old 07-26-2013, 08:10 PM
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Historically wet nurses had limited or no time or milk for their own babies, who often died... not good. I wouldn't rule out nursing someone else's baby occasionally, but I don't think I'd want to do it on a regular basis. Nursing your own child and another, if done frequently, would be a really intense metabolic demand. 

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#9 of 12 Old 07-27-2013, 12:16 AM
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Interesting idea. I don't think I'd have an issue with nursing someone else's child, but, yeah- the time demand would be too much for me to reasonably consider. I did give milk to a friend for a time while she was struggling with supply issues and using a supplemental nursing system. I just pumped whatever side DS was not on and saved all the milk for her. That's probably as close as I'd be willing to come to wet nursing, though.
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#10 of 12 Old 08-05-2013, 02:48 PM
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Abso-freakin-lutely...for someone I knew who had special circumstances. My mom was very sick when I was born (UTI/kidney infection + kidney stones), and she actually stayed in the hospital longer than I did. She was on potent meds for the first couple weeks of my life that meant she could not breasfeed. However, she knew the benefits and loved BFing my 3 older siblings. Fortunately, several of her friends & family had babies around the same time, so they volunteered to BF me while she pumped & dumped to keep her supply up. After she went off the meds, she was able to BF me for over a year with no problem. I feel so fortunate that BFing was just what was done in that area & at that time. I have asthma, allergies (not to foods, thank god!), and skin conditions (eczema, as well as genetic ichthyosis that probably was not affected by BFing one way or the other), and I shudder to think how bad it could have been had I not been breastfed (I can't say for sure, but the reseach seems to support the mitigation of these problems with BFing). Those conditions run in my father's side of the family, and they are mostly genetic but may have had less impact on my & my siblings due to breastfeeding. I don't know how my cousins were fed as babies (I know some were BF but not for sure which), and some have much more severe cases even though they have fairly similar bloodlines (a couple of my dad's brothers married some of my mom's cousins--actually 3 brothers married 3 sisters who happened to be my mom's cousins). I would want to share the responsibility, though, because that is a lot of time & energy to devote to someone who probably is not sharing my home. As I said before, I am so grateful that my mom's friends & family were so generous to help out as wet nurses when I was a baby to help my mom be able to breastfeed me once she was able to, that I just could not leave a mother I knew hanging when I could help her while she was unable to breastfeed. On the other hand, I would not necessarily feel comfortable being a wet nurse for a stranger. I would, though, be totally okay with being a milk donor by pumping as long as we had some sort of contract agreement that they were okay with accepting my breastmilk as a donation and knew that I was taking certain medications (for asthma, allergies, etc.) and may drink alcohol in moderation (specifically spelled out as 1-2 drinks per day, not to exceed 6 drinks per week; that's just my definition of moderation though). I'd want that little extra protection just in case, especially if I did not know the person at all and was not going through a milk donor bank.
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#11 of 12 Old 08-09-2013, 05:32 PM
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Nope.  The act of breastfeeding gives me the willies and is difficult for me to tolerate.  I'm willing to do it for my kids and would do it if the other option was a baby would starve, and I've donated milk.  But I do not want to do any more nursing than I absolutely have to.

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#12 of 12 Old 08-09-2013, 07:19 PM
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I have nursed my friend's baby when she was having problems nursing herself.  It was a bittersweet moment for us since the baby didn't have problems nursing on me.  I continued to pump and donate milk to her for several months.  After DS2 was born, I pumped again and donated to a stranger on Eats on Feets, many great women there!  I was talking to a woman from Saudi Arabia about nursing another woman's baby and she said that in her culture, the two children would be considered milk-siblings and related as family for life.

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