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Would you let another woman breast feed your child?

kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users
Or would you allow another woman's child feed from your own breast? There have been recent arguments for and against this in the newspapers. I don't have any children myself but I am curious as to what people think.

I don't whether I can really have a valid opinion on this point, as I have never had a child or experienced that bond with my own baby through breast feeding. I can see/understand the arguments from both sides.

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  • merynmeryn Posts: 1,806Registered Users
    I don't have children, but in times of need, yes, and yes.
  • Jess2316Jess2316 Posts: 617Registered Users
    I don't have kids either but no and no! The idea of trusting someone else to nourish my child is too much for me..I couldn't do it. Plus it kinda grosses me out.

    It would gross me out to breastfeed another baby as well...it just seems like such a personal thing to do with a child that wasn't yours.
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  • BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Posts: 4,940Registered Users
    I wouldn't under normal circumstances. I could understand if I lived in an impoverished country or lived under such extreme circumstances...then I would not hesitate for my child to get the nourishment he/she needs or to help out another one's child. But since I'm not living in extreme situation, no, I would not do so. Either I breast feed my own child or my child gets formula (or other alternative).
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  • StephSStephS Posts: 352Registered Users
    Yes.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    I'm torn. Assuming I know and trust the woman and know she leads a healthy lifestyle, I don't think it's gross and see nothing wrong with it physically. BUT for me, breastfeeding also fosters an emotional bond between my child and me, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside that I'm the only one who can provide that for my son. It may sound silly, but I would hate for it to take away from the bond that we share.

    Of course, in an emergency situation, I definitely think it's okay. I would rather my son breastfeed from another woman (again, one that I know and trust) than have formula.
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  • myCeliamyCelia Posts: 195Registered Users
    As the reporter pointed out, wet nurses have been used for centuries so I don't see what's so shocking about it. Breast milk is best. If I ever did have another child, and for whatever reason, couldn't always feed my child, I'd have no qualms about finding a wet nurse, though I'm sure they're few and far between nowadays.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    For my son who was an healthy BFed baby, I would have said "no". If formula was available, that would be my alternative.

    For my daughter who is a severely allergic BFed baby, breastmilk from another mother would be a better choice.

    I'm not totally comfortable with the idea, though.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    I have breastfed a baby not my own...my younger brother's baby, who was born very small and had a bad latch and his mom had a hard time establishing her milk. I was breastfeeding a 9 month old at the time and had a well-established supply. It did help to give my nephew a couple really good feedings (which he wasn't getting from his mom), which helped him keep weight on, which had been getting dangerously low, and helped SIL by giving her nipples a break. She went on to have a successful breastfeeding relationship...and I like to feel that I helped. Apparently the parents trusted me not to have a disease. :)

    Due to the risk of disease, though, I probably wouldn't allow another woman to breastfeed MY child...unless I knew her REALLY well.
  • rainshowerrainshower Posts: 4,420Registered Users
    kat180 wrote: »
    Or would you allow another woman's child feed from your own breast? There have been recent arguments for and against this in the newspapers. I don't have any children myself but I am curious as to what people think.

    I don't whether I can really have a valid opinion on this point, as I have never had a child or experienced that bond with my own baby through breast feeding. I can see/understand the arguments from both sides.

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    no and no.

    and barring an extreme situation like a plane crash that i didn't survive and a lactating woman being able to keep my baby alive until help comes, i see no reason for another woman to nourish my children with her milk.

    breastfeeding is as intimate and personal as it is beneficial to a baby's health. but since formula exists, and i can be intimate with my baby while bottle feeding, there is no desperation for me to use another woman's milk or a milk bank.
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  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Yes and yes, I would let someone close to me bf my child and I wouldn't have a problem bf another child in a time of need.
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  • 2happy2happy Posts: 5,138Registered Users
    In the case of a wet nurse and NOT an emergency situation - why couldn't she just pump for you? As already said, BF'ing is so intimate.
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  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users
    I know a few women I would do it for and whom I'd allow to breastfeed my baby if needed. I've also pumped my milk for a friend in need when I had a good supply, and I would accept donations from friends as well. I don't think it's gross at all, but I don't think any aspect of breastfeeding is gross.

    ETA - In an extreme situation, like if I found a newborn abandoned by its mother, I would probably breastfeed it before it even occured to me to make a bottle of formula.
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  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    I have breastfed a baby not my own...my younger brother's baby, who was born very small and had a bad latch and his mom had a hard time establishing her milk. I was breastfeeding a 9 month old at the time and had a well-established supply. It did help to give my nephew a couple really good feedings (which he wasn't getting from his mom), which helped him keep weight on, which had been getting dangerously low, and helped SIL by giving her nipples a break. She went on to have a successful breastfeeding relationship...and I like to feel that I helped. Apparently the parents trusted me not to have a disease. :)

    What a great story! And you should feel that way, because you did help.
    Bailey422 wrote: »
    ETA - In an extreme situation, like if I found a newborn abandoned by its mother, I would probably breastfeed it before it even occured to me to make a bottle of formula.

    Yeah, why would I spend the time and money on formula when BFing so easy, convenient, and free?


    Under normal circumstances, if another woman had to feed my son, I'd prefer she do it with my own expressed milk. But if that was unavailable, I'd say her own expressed milk or her just breastfeeding him.
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  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    I would if I could and a baby needed breastmilk. If my baby needed breastmilk and I couldn't provide it, I would really appreciate another mother helping us out.

    ETA: My moms best friend breastfed me. i was allergic to formulas and needed breastmilk. My mom had already dried up and her friend was still breastfeeding her baby (a few months older than me). I'm glad she did. I was not doing very well at all before she helped out. They weaned me pretty quickly though, so she didn't have to do that for long. She both pumped and nursed me.
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  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    I would not have been comfortable with someone else BF'ing DD under normal circumstances, however I would have been happy to BF another baby.
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  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Posts: 4,476Registered Users
    Yes and yes.
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  • kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users
    Its interesting that most people say yes. A few comments in the paper angered me because people got so offended by the idea of it and were really nasty about people who have no problem with it. Of course its a very personal decision and if your not comfortable with it fine, I guess I get annoyed when people react like that (not that anyone has on this board) Breast milk is the best option for babies (though incidently I wasn't breast fed, the nurse gave me a bottle without asking my mum first and after that I wouldn't have anything different-that really made my mum angry!) Isn't there some kind of system where people donate breast milk for babies that are premature or seriously ill?

    People like to give mothers a hard time about breast feeding in general such as verbally abusing them when they breast feed in public or making them leave a place.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,258Registered Users
    kat180 wrote: »
    People like to give mothers a hard time about breast feeding in general such as verbally abusing them when they breast feed in public or making them leave a place.



    I've heard stores like that, but I never encountered any negative feedback while breastfeeding in public. I've breastfed just about everywhere too...in stores, in planes, in restaurants, at work, etc. Everywhere. Never a negative comment from anyone. Most people didn't even know I was doing it, and if they did, they were always positive.
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users
    shelli, that's so nice your mom's friend breastfed you! I read somewhere that in Morocco it's pretty common for mother's to BF each other's children. The children then become "milk-siblings" which is considered as strong a bond as blood siblings in their culture. :) I'm sure it happens in other areas as well.
    I too have never had any negative comments breastfeeding in public. Usually it's older ladies who notice and give me a kind smile. :)
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  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    no and no. kind of. id be more likely to do either if it was feeding expressed breastmilk from a bottle.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    In emergency circumstances, I'd breastfeed another baby.

    I'd be less likely to let another woman breastfeed my baby, unless I knew and trusted her completely. HIV (and probably other diseases) can be transmitted through breastmilk, and I wouldn't be willing to take that chance.
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  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users
    I would do it for someone else in case of an emergency, but I'd be leery to let someone else do it for me.
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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    In an emergency, yes, it would be OK. I expressed milk for a woman I knew with low supply for a year. I look at her son as my son's milk brother - they're 3 weeks apart and really good friends. If I had difficulty with supply, I would rather my baby have someone else's expressed milk than formula, and hopefully it would be no charge as my milk was for my friend, so besides the health benefits, it would be cheaper. But if the baby were stranded somewhere and the only option to feed him was for another woman to nurse him, that would be OK (the only concern I would have would be HIV.) I would do the same for someone else without hesitation. If I found an abandoned baby somewhere, I'd feed it.

    I do agree that a big part of nursing is the emotional bond, and it would be hard to watch someone else foster that on an ongoing basis with my child. Expressed milk in a bottle provides the nutrients without that extra closeness, so that's why it seems preferable. If it were a once or twice only thing, like RCW described doing to help demonstrate a good latch, that would be OK as well. But it's really important to me that I am the only person who nurses my son, especially now that we're separated for a good chunk of the day and it is the way that we reconnect and that he knows I am still there for him.
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  • boarderhopperboarderhopper Banned Posts: 295Banned Users
    Yes.
  • a curly qa curly q Posts: 248Registered Users
    yes boarderhopper... :laughing6: that would be assumed. Back to OP, in an emergency situation only, even then I'd have to think about it really hard.
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  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    Not unless it was an emergency situation.
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  • velvet pawsvelvet paws Posts: 1,250Registered Users
    Probably not, unless it was an emergency and there was no formula around. The thought of it makes me feel icky, I really associate breastfeeding with bonding and I'd be very very uncomfortable with it. And, while Lucas is breastfed, I'm not one of those omg-formula-is-poison people, so in a situation like that I'd prefer that he get a bottle of formula than breastmilk from a stranger.

    Also, I breastfeed in public all the time - in restaurants, in stores, on the beach, in the park, in the airport, on planes and trains etc. Nobody has ever said boo about it.
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  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    Yes and yes if there was no other food available that he/she would consume.

    Although if I couldn't breastfeed long term for some reason, I'd have to think long and hard about getting a wet nurse. I'm not sure how expensive that would be, and it would certainly affect my decision making process.
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  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    And, while Lucas is breastfed, I'm not one of those omg-formula-is-poison people, so in a situation like that I'd prefer that he get a bottle of formula than breastmilk from a stranger.

    Would you prefer formula over pumped milk from a stranger (if you knew it was free of diseases)? Not criticizing, just curious.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    Would you prefer formula over pumped milk from a stranger (if you knew it was free of diseases)? Not criticizing, just curious.

    I'm not VP, but yes, I would preferentially give formula.

    I feel that a woman's breastmilk is the ideal food for her child, not necessarily anyone else's. Not exactly sure why... maybe its because I don't think we fully know what is in breastmilk. Disease testing is also not fool-proof - we can only test for certain things detectable in certain levels.
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