Would you breast feed someone elses child? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Would you bf someone else's child?
Yes 407 54.12%
No 68 9.04%
Depends on who .... ie family, close friends 277 36.84%
Voters: 752. You may not vote on this poll

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#61 of 235 Old 07-17-2002, 11:30 AM
 
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Charmarty~

I would also ask your friend. If I was in your friends position, I would feel very touched that someone cared so much to nurse my baby. Good luck and keep us posted!

Warmly~

Lisa

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#62 of 235 Old 07-17-2002, 01:28 PM
 
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I dont think I would have a problem bf another babe but I think it would be emotionally hard for me to have my babe bf from another...

Its funny, kinda on the same note...just last week I was at a bf friends house and my son woke up hungry and was crying. I was moving as fast as I could to get my overalls unlatched, shirt up, etc. and my friend (in mid conversation) automaticly snatched up her bf daughter and started rapidly tearing at her own clothes to feed her girl before she realized hers was not hungry, mine was!:LOL

This is the same friend that almost fed anothers formula fed babe in the middle of the street w/o thinking because babe was crying

Gotta lover her!

Thinking on it, I would for sure feed her daughter...I would let her feed mine if for some strange reason I couldnt, my babe is 6 mo. and WONT take a bottle of EBM or anything else for that matter! So I really would not have much choice but I would feel hurt even though I know it is not rational.
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#63 of 235 Old 07-17-2002, 01:54 PM
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Just 2 evenings ago we went to the park with my baby's father and his friend Rick & their daughter Gwen.
On the ride there she was screaming! I asked if he wanted to stop to get her some water because he FORGOT her formula! But, insted he gets her Dole juice, which is only 20% juice and gives her that! She screamed even more then.
She enjoyed the 20 minute walk, because the park was closing... my son fell asleep on the walk...
on the way home Gwen started screaming so loud! Her dad, Rick gave her an empty bottle and she was sucking on it! I was so sad! I couldn't believe he did that!
I poured the 4oz. of expressed breast milk that my son didn't finish into her bottle and she fed herself and fell asleep.
She is 9 months old.
Expressed Milk Saves the Day!
I exclusively pump and my son is 13 months old and won't feed himself a bottle yet!
Well,
I am happy she got some proper nutrition.
Yes,
I would breastfeed a hungry baby or give them expressed milk if they were formula fed and had no formula!
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#64 of 235 Old 07-17-2002, 05:17 PM
 
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I would have loved if someone would have nursed my dd while I had to work, instead of giving her expressed milk, or formula, but not an option, I just think of the special bond that the caregiver would have with my little one and I think it would be great. A baby can never have too much love right?!!!!
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#65 of 235 Old 07-18-2002, 06:08 AM
 
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Of coarse I realize I have to ask her!Thanks for the lightbulb moment Newma.
I just dont know how!She is a client that I have had foe about 7 years.We do not see each other outside of haircuts every 6 weeks.We do get along great tho-Also she is not the AP type KWIM?
I talked about it with my dh tonight,and he said that if I offered to pump for her,and she hasnt given me the go ahead to do so,and with her leaving in 2 days hes guessing she isnt going to ask me to pump.
This subject is a biggie.It is very difficult to bring it up to someone who arent like minded like we are.
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#66 of 235 Old 07-21-2002, 04:19 AM
 
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My mom and her friend "switched" babies sometimes. My mom's friend's ds is 3 days older than me, so if one of them needed a break or was going to be gone, the other would nurse. This was a great benefit to me because her friend had large breasts, ate much healthier than my mom and had more milk....so needless to say I was one happy baby

Her son wasn't so lucky, my mom is very small chested...so he spent most of his time rooting around trying to find the nipple

I would bf another child in a hearbeat....I would feel betrayed if anyone else bf my dd....but in a pinch I would rather have hurt feelings than a hungry baby. I guess it would really depend on who it is....I would let a close friend do it, or even a cousin...so I don't know. If I was sick I would much rather my dd get breastmilk....duh

Rachel

BTW I have a very close relationship to that woman who nursed me....she says I am the daughter she never had (she has 3 boys), and I am very close with her sons still too....
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#67 of 235 Old 07-26-2002, 02:42 AM
 
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I think that wet-nursing is a GREAT idea in many circumstances. However, unless there was an emergency situation, I would not nurse another child without expressed permission.

I too have thought of the abandoned baby scenario, but my question has always been, once the authorites arrive, could I get into some kind of trouble for nursing a strange, abandoned baby?

As for my own child, if it was necessary, I would absolutely prefer her to have breastmilk over formula. But I would be livid if someone ever nursed her without my permission if there were other options available. There are so many things to take into consideration, and no other woman can make that kind of decision when it comes to my child.
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#68 of 235 Old 07-26-2002, 02:52 AM
 
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-Yes I would breastfed another child. In fact my sister and I had our babies a week apart and we both breastfed. When the kids were about 7 mo old my sister became pregnant again and her milk started to dry up. I tried to nurse her daughter but she wanted nothing to do with it. I don't know if it was because she was too old and didn't want a foreign nipple or what. But I am sure that my son would nurse from just about anyone! After she wouldn't latch on I pumped milk for her and she drank it out of a bottle. I figure it dosn't matter how the child gets the breast milk as long as they are getting it.
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#69 of 235 Old 07-26-2002, 03:27 PM
 
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I think it's great to hear these wonderful stories about women sharing their bounty with others. I have just started pumping for donation myself.

Although EBM definitely is way superior to formula or cow's milk, I just have to comment (off-topic) that my understanding is that there are some advantages to nursing directly from the breast over consuming EBM from a bottle. A couple ...

-- If a baby comes in contact with a germ, s/he sends that germ to the nursing mother the next time she breastfeeds. Within about 2 hours (the average time between nursings), the mother makes an antibody specifically for that germ and sends it back to the baby/child the next time s/he nurses. A child receiving EBM still receives numerous immunities, but this system doesn't work quite in that way for the child.

-- People who are nursed have fewer orthodontic problems because the mouth and jaw develop differently when nursing at the breast vs. from a bottle.

Of course, the list of the advantages of EBM over non-breastmilk is enormous. I just thought I'd mention that direct nursing does have a few advantages even over EBM, from what I understand.
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#70 of 235 Old 07-27-2002, 08:54 AM
 
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One other benefit to the babies I don't think anybody has mentioned is the increase in immunologic benefit for babies. When babies are passed from mama to mama in the village, they are receiving the full antibody protection from each of them. Imagine how much stronger their immune systems could be if they nursed from lots of different moms!

One of my best friend's daughter asks me to nurse her all the time (she is so loving to me, and such an adventurer), but so far, my son has not been down with thte idea (they're both 2.5 yo). But we have agreed that we wouldn't hesitate to nurse each other's kids in an emergency.
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#71 of 235 Old 07-27-2002, 04:39 PM
 
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Yes, somebody mentioned a book called the Red Tent, I believe, which talked about the commonality of community-wide nursing. And that was exactly what I thought (and posted in response) -- what a great way to spread immunity. It's really fascinating.

A friend of mine was explaining that prior to formula, vaccines for things like pertussis weren't necessary because breastfed babies received the immunity from their mamas. And if they nursed long enough, by the time they were finished nursing, they were old enough to handle the pertussis (if they got it) easily, like a bad cold. And then the females would have the immunity to pass along to their children. Wow! But then with the introduction of formula, babies weren't getting that immunity from their mamas, so they were susceptible to it at young ages when it can be life-threatening. So they developed the vaccine.
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#72 of 235 Old 07-30-2002, 11:36 PM
 
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another benefit to nursing over bottle feeding is visual development...

I would do it and I would love it if someone else could do it for me if there was (g-d forbid) a need.

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#73 of 235 Old 08-14-2002, 01:38 PM
 
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just call me a wet nurse! WHen my baby looks at me with those wonderful loving and trusting eyes I will regret the day weening comes into my vocabulary. My niece at 5 months loves for me to nurse her when I babysit because I think I have more milk than her mama because Ana doesn't eat solids yet. I think it's wonderful how easily consoled a child is if they nurse the suckling is so rhythmic. It reminds me of breathing patterns you can use to ease pain.

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#74 of 235 Old 09-02-2002, 12:52 AM
 
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Wow! I love this board. My ds had trouble when he was new and we couldn't figure eachother out. So, my sister visiting ffrom another state nursed him, I cried because she made it look so easy, but that let me sleep, and helped show me what would work better for the itty bitty one. He did great and will still nurse from her when we go visiting. The last trip her ds nursed from me. (looked at me 'funny', did it anyway)

thanks for all the input & honesty.
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#75 of 235 Old 09-05-2002, 08:52 PM
 
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A friend of mine nursed my ds when he was 2 days old. He had jaundice and my homebirth midwife urged me to use formula for a lil bit until the jaundice went away. I was TOTALLY against that idea so I had my friend come over and nurse my lil guy a few times. I've also nursed another baby too. My sis' newborn back in June. My sis was having a lot of trouble w/ getting her lil one to nurse, so I tried to get her to latch onto me and she nursed like a champ (still have no clue why the baby wouldn't stay latched to her mom for very long cuz she nursed from me for 30 mins).

I see no problem w/ nursing some other person's baby or vice versa. We're all humans, I'd prefer that a baby gets human milk over cow's milk.
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#76 of 235 Old 09-06-2002, 03:17 PM
 
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I agree.

It makes more more incensed when I see a baby having artificial milk (with who knows what in it) than to think about a mom nursing a baby who isn't hers.
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#77 of 235 Old 09-18-2002, 09:41 PM
 
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i once nursed my sister's dd. i was at my mom's when she was tending her. i could tell she missed her mom, so i asked her if she wanted a num-num. she came right over for a snack. she gave me kisses and hugs until her mom got there! the stuff is so great and i have so much id give it to anyone!
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#78 of 235 Old 09-23-2002, 03:18 AM
 
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I'd also nurse someone else's baby. The concept of the wetnurse is thousands of years old. In some cultures, grandmothers will lactate and nurse their grandchildren. What a wonderful gift we can give other children. I think that if all parties are in agreement, wetnursing is great. After I had dd, I had complications and needed surgery. I wasn't able to nurse my newborn for 5 hours! I kept asking if there was a milk bank or donated colostrom. I was devistated to find out that there wasn't. The LC was no help and told me to supplement with formula. I refused at first, but by the next day my dd had lost 10% of her weight and I had the Ped, my nurses and the LC bullying me with formula. I caved. I didn't know anyone in LLL and wasn't even given the option to call a LLL leader. I'm sure she would have known someone willing to share with my DD. I'd gladly nurse someone's baby.

Wife to my wonderful Pablo, mum to Roo 8/10/01, Vin 1/10/07, Bug 6/3/07, Butterbean 12/12/09
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#79 of 235 Old 09-23-2002, 11:51 AM
 
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I saw a woman leaving the supermarket with a TINY baby maybe two weeks old, a case of pre-mixed bottles of formula, and a case of Slim-Fast cans. I wanted to take that baby away from her, take it home and nurse it. We live in a fairly small town and that baby will probably be in my son's class in school - I wish she could have the same start in life my son has.
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#80 of 235 Old 09-23-2002, 09:39 PM
 
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In a heartbeat.

I'd prefer if the baby was someone we knew, but a baby in need is a baby in need to me.{Though I suppose if it was a foundling situation I would pump until tests came back that the baby had nothing communicable and dangerous.} Back when DS finally completed weaning, I'd still get a letdown feeling when news stories about babies would come on.

One of our good friends was willing for me to nurse her little boy, rather than use any of the precious and hard-won ebm stash, but the need never arose when I was helping her out by watching him.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#81 of 235 Old 09-26-2002, 03:51 PM
 
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I breastfed my niece, but I was careful to ask both of her parents first. They were fine with it. My niece seemed to be fine with it, too. Milk from the child's own mother is best of course, but second best is human milk from another healthy, drug-free mother. Milk from a different mammal, even if it's modified to be more like human milk, is a distant third.

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#82 of 235 Old 10-08-2002, 03:11 PM
 
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When I was 6 weeks old, my parents went on a camping trip with his extended family. My Dad's sister was nursing her 1 yr old DD and Mom was exclusively bf me. Dad took Mom on a very long hike w/out me, she was leaking all over. My Aunt nursed me and I took just enough to cure the hunger because she wasn't Mom. My Mom might have been alittle jealous but she never let on when she would tell the story. Mom was thankful I didn't have to go hungry and she would not have been happy about a bottle. Five years down the road Mom was a wetnurse to her nephew (different Aunt) who was about 5 mths old. His Mom's milk was drying up (found out she was PG, later) and he was not tolerating formula, he was losing weight. They moved in with us for about 3 weeks so Mom could bf him (my sis was about 1). He gained weight and my Aunt felt less stressed so her milk came back just abit. This gave her time to find a formula he could handle and to start him on some solids. My Mom always did feel a little closer to that nephew over the others. When I was 12, a cat in the neighborhood abandoned her kittens. Our dog, who had never had puppies, mothered these kittens, even nursed them. She actually got milk. This is when I became convinced that adoptive mothers could bf. With all of this childhood background, it's no wonder I wouldn't mind bf another child. I wouldn't want another bf my newborn (the bond is too intense at that point) unless I absoluely couldn't, only to avoid formula. I would be open to someone taking over duties with an older toddler though . I have to really think to make sure that I don't lift my shirt for other babies, especially if they nuzzle.
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#83 of 235 Old 10-09-2002, 12:22 AM
 
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I agree with what some of the other mom have said. I would only do it if both mamas were close enough to be truly comfortable with the situation. Then again, as I type this, isn't it the babe whose needs should come first? If you had run out of EBM, I certainly think that nursing him would be your only option. Indeed, it would be much better than a cold plastic nipple in the first place!

I do have several friends who have nursed each others babes. They reported that it only worked for them before the age of about 4 months, then the babies only wanted mom!

Interesting topic...
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#84 of 235 Old 10-19-2002, 09:01 PM
 
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One of my IRL life friends had a baby due within a week of her sister's. They have a on/off sister relationship: close, but very competitive. My friend is the older and her sister was angry at her at first because she said "it's the first time in my life I'll have all Mama's attention, and you do this!" As it ended, the younger got preeclampsia and they took the baby nearly 8 weeks early, then my friend a month later had her baby 4 weeks early after a month and a half of bed rest.

The younger sister with the earlier preemie had to finger feed, then feed EBF and finally she learned to suck and eventually refused all bottles. The older sister, my friend, also struggled with BF (she had failed at BF with her older child) and succeeded beautifully. Neither one came to LLL with me more than once, but I kept them supplied with material and moral support as best I could (I had had my DS#2 and struggled through our BF relationship and they had witnessed all this).

My friend called me up to share something a few days after it happened. Her sister fell ill suddenly and her husband took her to the hospital while they left the baby with her mother. Baby was crying inconsolably, grandmother trying to feed a bottle, cup anything, and finally in desperation she called her other daughter, my friend, and asked if she would nurse her. She immediately agreed, though apprehensive about how it would work, mom brought her over and baby latched right on, ate up, and fell asleep happily!

My friend called me and told me that she had often wondered why they had gotten PG at the same time and had the fights and all, and it was while feeding her niece that she realized the purpose of it. She really felt that it had all led up to that moment when she was able to help her when nobody else could. I got tears in my eyes when she told me, it was so beautiful.....
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#85 of 235 Old 11-05-2002, 01:32 AM
 
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It is called wetnursing.

One of the oldest professions in the world.

Women of lower classes often did this for pay for women who could not or would not breast feed their own child. It was a superior thing to do compared to giving the babe cow's or goat's milk, but of cours not as perfect as its own mother's milk which for a variety of reasons was not available.

Every mother is a working mother.

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#86 of 235 Old 11-11-2002, 09:19 PM
 
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I would do it if we had had a discussion about it first and it was okay with both of us, but I don't think it's fair or right to nurse another mama's baby without her permission and I wouldn't want my baby nursed by someone else without a discussion beforehand. I'm not a mama yet (EDD 3/1/03) but I used to have a roommate who was a new mama and I would stay with her baby in the mornings when she went to the gym. Occasionally I would offer her baby my breast (I had permission) if she was unconsolable and she would pacify on me even though I didn't have any mik for her. Eventually the baby outgrew the need to suck quite so much and could be comforted in other ways, but it was a good experience all around while it lasted.
I like the idea of wet nursing, but in this culture we are pretty weird about bodily fluids, so there's not a lot of understanding "out there" for it.
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#87 of 235 Old 11-12-2002, 03:39 PM
 
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I've been thinking about my post above and I want to apologize for sounding judgemental for saying I didn't think it was right or fair to do without asking the baby's parents. I didn't really think about it in the context of an emergency or anything like that, I think in an emergency or even in a pinch, it's a very generous thing to do. I've been learning so much from all the mamas out there, parenting issues I've never even thought about. Thank you.
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#88 of 235 Old 11-14-2002, 12:43 AM
 
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I have been enjoying reading this thread. Until I read the story about the daycare worker getting in trouble for feeding one of the babies in her care, I had never even thought about this issue. I was surprised that my first feeling upon imagining someone else nursing my baby was an intense jealousy and revulsion, like that of imagining my husband with another woman.

But I can get past that feeling, which I think is quite natural given the intense connection between mother and child. I know that wetnurses used to exist before formula, and that in some tribal societies it is common for women to nurse each others' babies.

And all I have to do is think about what I would rather have for my baby: I would much rather she get BM from somebody else than ever get formula.

Wonderful thread!

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#89 of 235 Old 11-17-2002, 06:19 AM
 
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I would do it in a heartbeat, if everyone was ok with it. I'd never presume, but after reading some of this, I didn't realize people would get jealous - I'm sensitive to that.

When I lost my babe, my milk came in and I had to bind my breasts w/a tight bra to make it go away. Sounds awful to say. And I was just so sad, I wished I could have just fed someones baby, even for a little while. I didn't think to ask at the hosp. It took weeks to get my breasts to stop leaking. It was an awful reminder and so uncomfortable. I wouldn't have expressed it, tho. That may sound uncharitable, but to me that just wasn't the point. And they say bf'ing helps with PPD. It makes me think of Like Water for Chocolate, where she willed her breasts to feed her sisters (?) baby, and she did. It's food and love, I think we have enough to share.
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#90 of 235 Old 11-17-2002, 10:34 AM
 
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MysticHealerMom - that reminds me of the end of Grapes of Wrath where she nurses the old man after her baby died.


I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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