Would You Let a Friend Breastfeed Your Baby?

May 7, 2013  |  

Breastfeeding is hard. The latching, the timing, the pain. For Lisa C. Baker at Mommyish, the only problem she had when she was breastfeeding her first child was not getting a break. Baker had plenty of milk to give and her daughter had no problem drinking it, nursing for three hours at a stretch. In fact, Baker had so much to share she did something a lot of people, doctor’s included frown upon. She breastfed someone else’s baby.

Baker found breastfeeding her voracious daughter exhausting because she never had a moment to herself. She was happy to be able to provide what her little girl needed, of course, but it was overwhelming. So much so, she dreamed of having a wet nurse, but none of her friends were interested.

At a party years later, and after having a second, less hungry baby, Baker still had an oversupply of milk. When a new mother of twins asked her to hold one of her babies she asked to put her milk supply to good use. She asked her friend if she could breastfeed the boy instead of him having to wait until his sister was done feeding. It’s not somethings doctors recommend because breastmilk is a bodily fluid that can potentially carry diseases but, she points out, “in the U.S., pregnant women are routinely tested for STDs, and a mother who’s safely breastfeeding her own baby is probably healthy enough to breastfeed another. And if the woman is a close friend who you trust to tell the truth about her own health — why not cross-nurse?”

The experience was a rewarding one.

“I sat down in the rocking chair across from her and offered him my breast. Within minutes both twins were drifting to sleep, one on her breast and one on mine. His face looked strange at that angle — so different from either of my baby’s. His newborn latch, too, felt different from my son’s. But the way he relaxed against my body, curling his fingers around mine? That was exactly the same.”

But what it really comes down to for Baker is feeding babies. Feeding babies take time and that’s something all mothers need more of. She’d happily do it again.”If you’re breastfeeding a bottle-averse baby and desperate for a break, you should give me a call.”

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