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Does nursing a baby have different meanings?

(65 Posts)
Babysafari Tue 28-Jun-16 15:00:16

Basically a family member was holding my baby and was on the phone. She told the person on the other end of the phone that she was just nursing the baby.

I thought it an odd thing to say as and looked a bit like this hmm I understood it to mean breastfeeding, or possibly even comforting when upset.

Or does nursing also mean holding/cuddling a baby?

Sleepingbunnies Tue 28-Jun-16 15:01:44

Iv always took it to mean breastfeeding. Don't know if there are other meanings!

dementedpixie Tue 28-Jun-16 15:02:27

I would take nursing to mean breastfeeding too

Fairuza Tue 28-Jun-16 15:03:03

I guess it can also mean general baby care eg nursery, nursery nurse.

Cel982 Tue 28-Jun-16 15:03:14

There are regional variatipns for this one - I know in Northern Ireland 'nursing' is used to mean holding/cuddling a baby.

Cel982 Tue 28-Jun-16 15:03:36


Rumpelstiltskin143 Tue 28-Jun-16 15:03:39

Not just breastfeeding. It means you've got the baby and are giving him/her a cuddle.

Conecraft Tue 28-Jun-16 15:04:27

Yep, nursing a baby means cuddling it in Yorkshire too.

lapetitesiren Tue 28-Jun-16 15:04:40

I always thought it meant just holding them and being occupied with them but have realised that some people mean breastfeeding.

mmgirish Tue 28-Jun-16 15:07:55

Yes, in Ireland it means having a wee cuddle.

Oysterbabe Tue 28-Jun-16 15:08:23

It can just mean holding.
Also heard:
"Drink up, you've been nursing that pint all night"

TheCrumpettyTree Tue 28-Jun-16 15:09:51

Means bf to me.

DramaAlpaca Tue 28-Jun-16 15:10:25

It can mean both holding a baby or breastfeeding, but I think in the US it definitely means breastfeeding.

kktpj Tue 28-Jun-16 15:11:07

In NI it means having the baby on your knee. Never breastfeeding

Arfarfanarf Tue 28-Jun-16 15:11:16

Here (derbyshire) it means feeding. It also means cradling, rocking, soothing and generally quieting and taking care of.

And yy to nursing a pint. Taking your sweet time over the bugger. 😃

ExcuseMyEyebrows Tue 28-Jun-16 15:11:47

To me it means bf, but also cuddling, rocking etc - Scottish

Numberoneisgone Tue 28-Jun-16 15:12:49

Yep in Ireland it means either a cuddle of a BF.

PhloppysFonics Tue 28-Jun-16 15:14:39

Could possibly be a generational thing too. My Nan thanked me for letting her nurse my baby after she'd just had a cuddle. Haven't heard anyone else say it.

MrEBear Tue 28-Jun-16 15:14:41

It's only on line I've found it to mean BFing. In Scotland nursing means hugs, rocking, holding, comforting. Particularly with the very old generation

Scribblegirl Tue 28-Jun-16 15:14:54

Weird - I'm known to utter the phrase 'DP, stop nursing that pint and get your round in, I'm out of wine' grin but in the context of a baby would always think breastfeeding. Thank you for making me aware!

SestraClone Tue 28-Jun-16 15:15:55

I think Americans used nursing to mean breastfeeding and it has caught on here. When I was little, nursing just meant cuddling/rocking a baby.

bruffin Tue 28-Jun-16 15:17:10

Londoner - means giving a cuddle or bf to me.

katiegg Tue 28-Jun-16 15:18:56

To me it means getting a cuddle/holding a baby. People would ask for a nurse of ds or my mum would come home and announce she'd had a nurse of next door neighbour's new baby etc.

The breastfeeding meaning is well known too. I'm from NI, so as possible suggested it's maybe a regional thing.

Hulababy Tue 28-Jun-16 15:23:18

Yes can def just been holding/cuddling a baby, not just breastfeeding. Infact, most people I know would just say "feeding a baby' if breastfeeding (or bottle-feeding for that matter) rather than nursing a baby.

MrsSpecter Tue 28-Jun-16 15:24:38

Right so now we need to know where OP's friend is from. grin

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