Have you ever breastfed some one else’s baby?
I have to admit that as a first time mother, the thought of someone else nursing my baby somewhat repulsed me. I wondered how other mother’s did it. A part of me feared deep down that this could somehow lessen my bond with my child…
Almost three years later my views have completely changed. Reading this true story of a motherless baby breastfed by six women each day really influenced me and left me feeling inspired. These women showed such love and compassion by helping this baby.
Just the other day I was given the opportunity to help a friend.
I got a phone call:
Jane (not her real name), had less than two days prior given birth to a baby boy. He was doing well initially, but was quickly becoming un-satisfied with only colostrum. In most cases it takes around 3 days for a mother’s milk to come in. He wasn’t sleeping soundly and mommy wasn’t getting any rest either as he was constantly searching for what wasn’t available. Jane told me that he had “nursed” the night before for two hours straight.
Jane asked me if I would consider being a wet-nurse. Would I be OK with breastfeeding her baby? And would it even be possible for me to get to her place right away?
I felt honored that she asked. I was completely willing and instantly OK with the idea. I understood fully her desire not to give him formula this early (if at all) if there were other options.
I discussed it with my hubby—my personal chofer—then called her back and said we’d be on our way. The four of us packed in the car and made the hour drive.
Shortly after we got there Jane handed me her baby. I felt so much empathy for her and her little guy.
Jane, her baby and I moved to a quiet, private area of the house to sit and breastfeed. She asked my permission to come and sit with me while I fed her baby. Of course! I wanted her to be a part of this as much as possible.
I thought that he might be reluctant to accept my breast at first, but he immediately latched on and happily drank. Five to ten minutes later he was done, finished, terminado! He was “milk drunk” as hubby calls it.
Almost as soon as he was done and sound asleep, I handed him back to his mama. Emotions overcame her. More than anything she was grateful and happy. Her baby was finally content and fed.
We didn’t stay long. We left mama, baby and father to get some much needed rest (with some extra frozen expressed milk in the freezer for just in case).
This whole experience was so enriching and beautiful for me. It has made me even more of an advocate for breastfeeding and mothers helping mothers – women helping women.
If given the opportunity to serve in this capacity again I would – In a heartbeat.
For more information on this topic please read this story of a modern day wetnurse.
Also see this blog post entitled “Wet-nursing Crash Course”