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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 .

RonaldMcDonald Wed 07-Aug-13 12:49:02


thanks for the clarification

Morloth Wed 07-Aug-13 12:32:55

RonaldMcDonald 'I think that there really is a great deal of blethering on this site.'

Well, yeah. Blethering is pretty much the point!

RonaldMcDonald Wed 07-Aug-13 12:12:01

I think that there really is a great deal of blethering on this site.

Crucially this is something that will never affect the vast vast majority of you.
For those that it will they can make the decisions

sofia yes patently every person who is a wet nurse carries a disease...oooooo

Morloth Wed 07-Aug-13 11:12:38

I too would have preferred for my children to have human milk over any other milk if I had not been able to breastfeed them myself.

People are entitled to their preferences.

I almost breastfed a friend's baby once, we had babies of around the same age, mine was sleeping, she was cooking and her baby started crying, my had my bra unhooked and the baby half out of his basket before my brain kicked in.

There are a couple of people I would have trusted to breastfeed my babies before I fed them formula.

Happily it never came up.

SofiaVagueara Wed 07-Aug-13 10:46:35

Oh, Ronald McDonald so you are going for the scientific method of deciding that somebodies breast milk is going to be okay to give your baby because they seem nice on first meeting and they'll do it for cash?

Really? Do you use the same criteria when choosing which people you will allow to introduce bodily fluid into yourself?

I don't know why people would take a risk with their child that they wouldn't take with themselves.

When cash starts changing hands you're taking a big risk. You can't necessarily tell a persons sexual history and activity by looking at them. You can't tell a drug addict by looking at them.

RonaldMcDonald Wed 07-Aug-13 08:18:20

Blah blah women who are notorious drunks and drug addicts are also working as wet nurses
The germs
The breast cooties


If it floats your boat, you can afford it and feel you need it for your baby then it seems great that you can avail of a wet nurse.

If you'd rather FF then equally great

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.

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

Eh cats are crazy

Any other random comments?

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

People are insane

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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

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

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, any offers of wet-nursing employment gratefully received. grin

3birthdaybunnies Tue 06-Aug-13 20:50:07

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.

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.

AKissIsNotAContract Tue 06-Aug-13 20:38:41

shrugged that's interesting too

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!

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

Tes yes composhat, please tell us more!

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?

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

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

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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!

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