Sunday, October 28, 2007

Would You?

...let another woman breastfeed your child?
...breastfeed another woman's child?
...if yes, under what circumstances?
These questions spurred some interesting discussion amongst a group of lactating friends this afternoon. I think the overwhelming and immediate group response was, 'NO WAY!'. But then some intriguing scenarios were debated.
What if you were babysitting a really good friend's or sibling's child and their mama was stuck in traffic, delaying her 2 hours past feeding time, leaving you with a screaming child and no bottle?

What if you could make some really good money?

What if your babysitter fed your child without your permission?

And since there are wet nurses, why not bottle and sell breast milk in the grocery store, as an alternative to formula?
What do you think?

p.s. I think this conversation was triggered by me dropping & spilling approx. 3.5 oz. of pumped milk. That's one great way to silence a room of women who know the great value of every drop of stored milk!


Sally said...

My mom once babysat her good friend (and neighbor's) baby for a good chunk of a day while the baby's mom was really sick. My mom also had an infant just a couple months younger, and she couldn't get the (screaming) baby to take a bottle. So she breastfed her, and everything was fine. I don't think the mom minded at all, considering the circumstances. I'm sure I wouldn't get upset in a similar situation, seeing as I wouldn't give my baby to just anyone that I didn't already like and trust, so why not trust their milk? If she's also a nursing mom, her milk isn't going to be alcohol-laced or anything crazy like that!
My question is, how do wet nurses even have milk in their breasts to feed the baby?! Do they also have children of their own at the same time, or can lactation be stimulated somehow outside of motherhood?

Leslie C. said...

I just had this coversation with a friend of mine!!! The exchange of bodily fluids between friends and infants just does not sit well with me.
I spilled some breast milk the other day and felt like I flushed my wedding band down the toilet. The stuff is like gold!

Liz Mouse said...

I don't think I could handle anyone I know nursing my baby, it's just too close for comfort. But if breastmilk was available at the grocery store and I was adopting an infant I'd buy it for sure. That said, I've thought about trying to breastfeed an adopted baby. And yes, I've read that it is possible to lactate even without having given birth, but I bet you have to take hormones. And for the record, I'd sell my breastmilk, so if you know anyone in the market... ;)It just might turn out to be the next big stay-at-home mom money-maker.

Westy said...

Well, as it turns out, there is movement towards increasing the ability to share breast milk due to its great worth.

In fact, a couple sisters from CA have started a company/milk bank dedicated to this. I have the feeling that sharing such as this will only continue to grow.

Roxanne said...

I once spilled about that much of precious "liquid gold" followed by me crying for aprox 1 hour. gotta love hormones. I have had this convo many times, I think something about hooking yoruself up like a cow to pumping machines makes you think about it.