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To think that 'wet nursing' should not cause a public outcry.

(56 Posts)
Tweenangst Tue 06-Aug-13 15:19:53

I don't know how to put a link up but there is an article on daily mail (sorry!) about a French nurse offering her services for a hundred euros a day. Surely this is just a supply/demand thing and if she is fit and healthy and the parents are happy, why do people think its gross? The comments on the article have to be seen to be believed .

phantomnamechanger Tue 06-Aug-13 19:44:04

I happily breastfed all 3 of my babies for 18months-2 years. I commend those who donate breast milk and would have done so if there was a local call/appeal while I was still lactating.

If people want to use a wet nurse for whatever reasons, then it is no business of anyone elses. personally, while I would be happy to donate to a milk bank I would not feel able to feed someone elses baby becaue of the bonding . Similarly, it would kill me to see someone else feeding my own baby if I could not, because of the way that baby would react to their voice and smell over me.

I've vaguely wondered whether I'd be able to B/F any grandchildren I may have one day. I think I heard that if you've lactated once or more it can be re-established at a later date ? Young babies are always rooting about for a boob, so why not give it to them if you have it shock

Don't know what my DD or DIL of the future would think of the idea though !

GinAndaDashOfLime Tue 06-Aug-13 19:46:20

Personally I would rather my baby have breast milk (anyone's breast milk) than formula
Seriously? WTAF?? This is the kind of attitude which makes life so difficult for my friends who FF, and makes me so angry. You have been properly brainwashed by the BF Nazis Natasha - formula isn't poison you know!!
(And I speak as one who EBM all 3 of my dc's till 18 months).

phantomnamechanger Tue 06-Aug-13 19:47:29

juggling - we all know exactly how your DIL would react, and there would be much posting on here and resounding YANBU if she came on saying her MIL wanted to BF her baby!! LOL

have you seen the threads about GM who want the baby to call them mummy, or mama etc. utterly bonkers.

phantomnamechanger Tue 06-Aug-13 19:49:08

Gin - don't overreact, posters are quite at liberty to say what they personally would prefer, no one said formula was toxic or those who FF are bad mothers.

phantomnamechanger Tue 06-Aug-13 19:52:49

and Gin, if there was more breast milk donated or available to buy, as a 3rd option if you like, maybe some FFers would happily choose that over FF because of the health benefits? (assuming the milk could be tested as safe). The poster was only saying that she would rather have the option of using someone elses BM rather than FF if she were not able to BF herself.

Viviennemary Tue 06-Aug-13 19:54:49

This practice went on for centuries without anybody batting an eyelid. I suppose it's because when people can't or choose not to breastfeed there is formula milk which they didn't have in the past. So really can't see what the fuss is about. But I suppose it's not something I'd like to do. But I expect that's just because we've been conditioned to find it not acceptable. I just saw Composhat's post. Very interesting!

KingRollo Tue 06-Aug-13 20:01:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

midori1999 Tue 06-Aug-13 20:01:22

Gin I too would prefer my baby to have donor breastmilk than formula. Perhaps rather than being brainwashed by 'breastfeeding nazis' that actually just means I haven't been brainwashed by formula companies with all their 'closest to breastmilk' hype. Formula is a perfectly acceptable breastmilk substitute for those who want or need to use it, but it will never be and can never be anything like breastmilk.

I don't see the big deal with wet nurses. I'd be happy to nurse someone else's baby or have someone else nurse mine if the need was there. I don't agree with charging for donor milk or paid milk sharing normally, but in the case of wet nurses where someone is being paid for their time, I don't necessarily have a problem with it.

BrianTheMole Tue 06-Aug-13 20:01:45

Its just a personal choice gin, everyones entitled to one.

Tweenangst Tue 06-Aug-13 20:17:39

Composhat, I am really interested in this topic, would it be possible for you to send any links to your workings? It is amazing how this topic divides people. I wonder if back in the day people thought the same way about giving/receiving blood?

Loopytiles Tue 06-Aug-13 20:30:38

Tes yes composhat, please tell us more!

CalmOnTheSurface Tue 06-Aug-13 20:37:00

Composhat finally de-lurking here: from one obscure PhD student (aren't we all?) to another, yours sounds absolutely fascinating!

shrugged that's interesting too

SofiaVagueara Tue 06-Aug-13 20:39:55

It's not just infection. There is the risk of alcohol and illegal and prescription drugs.

When it was common and the done thing for the aristocracy to have wet nurses one of our Princes of Wales was actually fed by a wet nurse who was exposed as a drunk after she had been feeding him for some time.

If my baby was in an incubator on on an ICU and I couldn't feed then I would accept donor milk given altruistically without a thought. If I had a trusted friend who I knew inside out and trusted totally I would also do it.

But when money was changing hands which would give people the incentive to be dishonest about what was in their milk or any infection. No way. Particularly that there have been many cases before where people have been deceitful about such things when selling bodily fluids such as blood. And the screening for breast milk would not be as stringent as for blood.

I think if the only choice was to buy breast milk anybody who would take it would have to be crazy and would be driven more by ideological zeal than common sense.

Formula might not be great but at least you will know your child isn't being pumped full of valium, anti-depressants or amphetamines or anything else.

As I understand the antibodies in breast milk are there because your body produces antibodies when you are exposed to virues, which it meets for the first time or which it has encountered before. For this reason you could maybe argue that if the wet nurse was doing the majority of the childcare during the day, then their bm would be more effective than if you expressed milk to be given to your own baby while you were at work.

For example imagine a nanny took your child to a toddler group where another child had chickenpox (and nanny had previously had CP). Both your child and the nanny would be exposed to CP, you at work would not be. The exposure would prompt the nanny's body to produce lots of CP antibodies so that she would not be ill again. If she was wet nursing your child some of those antibodies would pass to your child and so offer some protection. If instead she was offering your expressed bm it would not have many antibodies as these are not produced in large numbers unless you are re-exposed. Therefore it would be best for the baby to be always fed bm from the person it is with when it encounters viruses (nanny during week, you when you take it socialising on the weekend). Despite the theory I don't think I would want someone to wet nurse my dc.

MikeOxard Tue 06-Aug-13 21:00:21

It was the daily mail, and had both breastfeeding, and helping gay people to parent, so a double bashing was inevitable. I bet the editor was rubbing his hands together when he found a way to make this story 'news'.

If I could make money wet-nursing, it would be my dream job! Looking after a baby and feeding it all day, AND you get paid for it, yes please. I'm due back at work very soon as my (breastfed) baby has just turned 1 ...so, any offers of wet-nursing employment gratefully received. grin

Caboodle Tue 06-Aug-13 21:09:15

Me too-I'd love to be a wet nurse.

McNewPants2013 Tue 06-Aug-13 21:26:57

For my DC I would prefer to ff than to have a wet nurse. Because regardless where the milk came from I enjoyed feeding my babies.

Ds was breastfed till 5-6 months ( can't remember now) and Dd 3-4 days.

With dd at home I often had skin to skin contact while feeding even thought she was ff.

Mrchip Tue 06-Aug-13 22:03:45

If my baby was prem I would desperately want breast milk for them from a milk bank.
I couldn't watch a friend or family member feed my baby though.

If I couldn't breastfeed I would use formula for a term baby.
If however, safe tested milk bank milk was available I would use it. It would seem a fantastic alternative and be less personal.
I can imagine it would be costly though as pumping is time consuming....so employing a wet nurse directly would poss work out cheaper.

I think it would be great that babies born to gay men have the opportunity to receive breast milk, as the majority of other babies do.

PeriodMath Tue 06-Aug-13 22:30:34

Gin, nobody has said it's poison. People are entitled to prefer one over the other.

MrChips, I find the thought of a child "born to" gay men being fed a stranger's breast milk instead of its mother's somehow very sad.

Mrchip Wed 07-Aug-13 00:03:02

Yes I know what you mean. It struck me as one of the only things (besides from a 'mother' figure) that you could say they would really miss out on. Same issue with surrogacy I guess.

Difficult though as many babies are formula fed from birth. Saying you feel sad for them would not go down well......
However when my DS was on neonates for the 1st 9 days of life it was so important to me to feed him/pump. There were several stages where formula was considered (jaundice type bloood issue/ breathing probs) but for me he was 'entitled' to the best start I could provide. I felt very sad at the thought of him not being breastfed.

RonaldMcDonald Wed 07-Aug-13 00:07:24

People are insane

Mrchip Wed 07-Aug-13 00:10:21

Eh cats are crazy

Any other random comments?

5madthings Wed 07-Aug-13 00:18:21

I and to stop bfeeding two to mynchidlren earlier than I wanted, whilst I woidltn be comfortable with them haivgn bmilk straight from another woman's breasts everyday (purely because of the bonding aspect) I would have liked to be able to have fed them with expressed milk.

When I did bfeed I always and mases of milkmand looked into donating but it isn't done in my area.

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