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Wet Nursing

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Wet Nursing

Post  Emma on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:16 am

Just wondered what people think of wet nursing!
Think it's the not having a bottle thing that's got me thinking. I haven't left Lucinda with anyone for longer than half an hour. And can't leave her any longer than that incase she gets hungry and she won't have a bottle or enough from the cup. So can't even start to think about going back to work! So then I thought how much easier it would be to just leave her with someone who can breastfeed her! Although in principle I don't know whether I really like the thought of it. But it would definitely be practical. I think it would be weird to imagine someone else feeding my baby, but I've been trying to imagine feeding someone elses baby (just a baby in general, not a specific baby!) and it doesn't seem too weird that way round. Of course, I'm unlikely to follow this idea through. She'll just end up at a childminders with her sippy cup! But thought I might start a debate on this!
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:53 am

Very interesting topic. Haven't got time to reply now but i'll get back to you on this later. Very Happy
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  fleurthefrenchgirl on Fri May 01, 2009 3:59 am

I think it's a great idea! I would do it! i am currently registering to donate breastmilk to help premature babies. Ever since I had Reuben my first baby I discovered a real love for them and I want to help as much as possible. For me breastfeeding was not an option, I would never have considered bottle feeding and was very disappointed at the begining when I had trouble breasfeeding and latching him on properly. I had to give him the occasional formula at the begining when my nipples were too sore or when I was too exhausted (had emergency section and it took me a while to regain my strengths) or when I had a breast infection that made it very sore. I understand some people cannot breastfeed, it requires a lot of energy and as you point out you have to be there all the time. I wanted to give up sometimes but felt heart broken everytime his dad was giving him the formula. If I had had the option, yes I would have liked someone to breastfeed my baby for me instead of giving formula, also I would have liked seeing someone else do it and learn from it. Breast is best we all agree and we want the best for our babies so if I want a night out with my fiance or go back to work early I would be happy to know there is someone there that could give good healthy milk to my baby. I would also be happy to do it for others.
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  Emma on Fri May 01, 2009 8:51 am

I'm so pleased to hear that someone else thinks it's a good idea. I had the feeling I might have been a bit "alternative". But like you, I would much rather my baby had breastmilk, even someone elses breastmilk if it came to it, than formula. Lucinda has never had formula and I really don't want her to have it. As it is I feel like her body is pure and it has been my breastmilk alone that has made her grow. If she were to have formula it would upset me to think that her body had been "tainted". Does that make sense?
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  Dylansmum on Fri May 01, 2009 9:08 am

I completely agree with you fleurthefrenchgirl.... I had a csection too and found it very difficult to feed but once we got the right position we were fine - however it would have been nice to watch someone else breastfeed and get tips and things as to be honest there isnt that much support especially when it hurts soooo much.

I would wet nurse if necessary because as you say breast is best and why shouldnt every child have the best form of nutrition available to them - the other benefit is that the baby will receive antibodies from the wet nurse that the mother may not have therefore building a stronger immune system.

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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  Claire on Fri May 01, 2009 3:26 pm

I agree, any breastmilk is better than formula. Emma, I know what you mean about Lucinda being pure, I feel the same about Lily. I'm proud that she's alive and healthy and thriving because of my breastmilk alone and I never, ever want to give her formula.

So, I think wet nursing is a great idea in principle, but in practise how would it actually turn out? For me, breastfeeding isn't just about nutrition, it's also about that special bond I have with my baby that nobody else has with her. I went out one evening recently and although I'd already given her her supper she just wouldn't settle without me. She did in the end and was asleep by the time I came home, but the next day it was just the best feeling in the world to be able to nurse her and see how happy she was to have me home, it brought me to tears to see how blissed out she looked as she was feeding. I'm not sure how I'd cope knowing another woman was sharing that with my baby. Of course if it was a choice between that and formula I'd find a way of coping, it would be selfish not to, but I don't think I'd like it.

Also, I wonder how it would feel physically. I'm sure not all babies suckle the same way and I bet it would feel rather strange to have another baby suckle in a different way when you're so used to the way your own baby feels. And how would the baby adapt to a different size, shape and texture nipple? Would he or she have nipple confusion?

So, all in all I think it's a good idea but I think there would be a few issues you'd have to deal with along the way.

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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  fleurthefrenchgirl on Sat May 02, 2009 3:54 am

Salma Hayek did it have a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzEKVcwx6a4
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  Emma on Sat May 02, 2009 4:02 am

Yes, they're the issues I thought about aswell Claire. I don't think I could actually bring myself to do it. But then I think about how upset babies get when they want feeding and their mummy's not there that I can understand how you could instinctively just feed someone elses baby and how it would actually probably feel to be the right thing. As far as bonding, people who do wet nurse say that the babies know who their mum is and never create the same bond with anybody else. I think it would be easier to get your head round if your mum or sister, for instance, could feed your baby. It would seem less of a breach of the bond IYKWIM!
I just find this to be a really interesting subject. Think it's since I saw that Other People's Breast Milk programme last year, then I went to the baby exhibition at Wakefield museum last week and there was something about it there.
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  Emma on Sat May 02, 2009 4:05 am

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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  fleurthefrenchgirl on Sat May 02, 2009 4:56 am

Two good points is this article:

1- "There are potential hazards. The biggest risk is that of infection being passed from the mother to the child. Breast-milk is a living substance expressly designed by your body for your baby, not someone else's. By breast-feeding, you are passing on specific enzymes and antibodies designed to protect your child and the nutrients in your breast-milk change as your baby grows.Your milk will not have the makeup which will necessarily suit another ...anyone considering using cross-nursing should make sure the other mother is screened for TB, hepatitis, HIV, herpes and syphilis, all of which could be carried in breast-milk."

2- "A woman breastfeeding another woman's child for health reasons is perfectly understandable. But the danger is that, as is the case with so much of modern child-rearing, if wet-nursing becomes popular again, it will be not so much because it's good for the child, but because it's convenient for the parents."

I never considered the infection side of it and thinking about it now both child and woman should be screened first to be sure there will be no infection passed.
And yeah woman using other woman to breastfeed their babies because they have implants or because they don't want to ruin their figure are selfish and should know better. Don't get a boob job if you want to have children and bf them.
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  Emma on Sat May 02, 2009 9:15 am

Yes, it would be important to consider the infection side. Another reason why if you were to seriously consider it, to make sure it was with someone you trusted like a family member or close friend. And yes, your milk is right for the age of your baby etc, which is why I also think that people who want wet nurses because they've had boob jobs are selfish. They should put their child first, not their vanity! But if someone was only using a wet nurse so they could feed their baby once or twice a day maybe, while they were at work, then the baby would still be getting most of it's milk from it's mum so would be getting the milk that's meant for it and is correct for it's age / stage of development. Would definitely need to weigh up the pros and cons. I would also personally not want my baby feeding by someone who smoked.
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  fleurthefrenchgirl on Sat May 02, 2009 2:03 pm

Oh yeah I would hate it too. When I see all those pregnant mothers smoking it makes me so sad. Each to their own I guess.
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  rockycat on Mon May 04, 2009 2:00 pm

Each to their own, but I think if I really couldn't breast feed I would probably resort to formula rather than someone else's milk. I think it's just because I know that my milk is perfect for my child, but with another woman you don't know what they're getting, whereas with formula you do. Fingers crossed we never actually need to worry about it!
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  fleurthefrenchgirl on Tue May 05, 2009 2:46 am

I see your point of view Rockycat and I agree let's hope we don't need to resort to any of those solutions although I had to use formula a feww times when I had my breast infection and sore nipples but haven't used any in a while now.
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  Emma on Tue May 05, 2009 4:39 am

I just got thinking about this because Lucinda won't have a bottle, therefore giving formula would be as much of a problem as giving EBM in a bottle, therefore someone else with milk in their boobs could be useful!! Like I said before though, it's unlikely I would use a wet nurse, she's just gonna have to learn to use her cup.
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Re: Wet Nursing

Post  rockycat on Thu May 07, 2009 4:41 am

Oh dear, I haven't tried Beth with a bottle yet. Her brother was fine with it, but I have a couple of friends whose children wouldn't take them at all. We're supposed to be going to a wedding reception in 4 weeks and I was hoping to leave her with my parents, so I'd better start expressing and practising.
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