Would you let another woman breast feed your child?

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.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...feed-baby.html
I don't have children, but in times of need, yes, and yes.
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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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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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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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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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.


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.
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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.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...feed-baby.html
Originally Posted by kat180
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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Last edited by rainshower; 09-04-2008 at 12:25 PM.
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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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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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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Last edited by Bailey422; 09-04-2008 at 01:56 PM.
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.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
What a great story! And you should feel that way, because you did help.

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.
Originally Posted by Bailey422
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.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
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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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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Yes and yes.
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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.
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.
Originally Posted by kat180


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.
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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