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Does anyone here bf their friends' babies?

(44 Posts)
chloesbaby Thu 26-May-11 12:50:22

My friend and I babysit each others' 5 mo babies regularly for a couple of hours and swap bottles of expressed milk on the doorstep before running out to supermarket / hairdressers / have an hour baby-free / whatever.

My mum asked me the other day why I don't just bf her son when he's at mine. Really not sure how I feel about this, although it does seem more logical than fannying about with heating a bottle, etc.

Does anyone do this? How did you raise it in the first place? Am quite worried that if I raise it with my friend she will be horrified.

Sillyness Thu 26-May-11 12:54:53

I have to say that IMO, i would be horrified. sorry!

BF is personal and it's bonding time and i think a baby can prefer one person's milk to another so imagine if your baby didnt want to feed from you any more.

WoTmania Thu 26-May-11 12:57:42

I don't and have never had the need to but if it was an emergency Baby was crying and there was no other option way of quietening the baby I would.

WoTmania Thu 26-May-11 12:59:03

You could always say in a jokey way 'wouldn't it be easier if we could just nurse them rather than all the expressing faff' and see how she reacts I guess

chloesbaby Thu 26-May-11 13:01:26

It's tricky isn't it. It is such a personal thing, but I honestly don't think I would mind her bfing my baby (though maybe that's easy to say when it hasn't happened). I take your point about it being so personal though Sillyness.

Maybe joking would be a good way to gauge reaction

rulenumber1 Thu 26-May-11 13:07:18

Apart from the emotional issues, what about potential vertical transmission of infections such as hiv and hepatitis. It's not essential in this country and so I wouldn't even consider it.

AngelDog Thu 26-May-11 13:32:31

I wouldn't myself because DH didn't like the idea when we talked about it, although he wouldn't mind me doing it in an emergency.

There are some infection risks but it's normal practice in some countries apparently.

I think doing it occasionally is very different from doing it every day for example.

I think joking would be a good way to introduce the question.

KaraStarbuckThrace Thu 26-May-11 13:44:37

Times past, this would be a normal thing to do.
Sad to think that people are now 'horrified' by it - but that is how society operates these days!
I would do it as long as my friend was happy into it.
And I would not be consulting my DH - it is MY body, nowt to do with him!

KD0706 Thu 26-May-11 16:55:18

I take the point about infections but I don't think there's anything wrong with breastfeeding a good friends baby.
One of my friends babies has had my expressed breast milk in a bottle. But I don't generally mention it because people are so funny about breastmilk.

BluddyMoFo Thu 26-May-11 16:57:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RobynLou Thu 26-May-11 16:59:38

I would bf someone else's baby if they were happy for that to happen, I would be happy for anyone I trusted enough to care for my child to bf them, providing I was happy there were no infection risks.

chloesbaby Thu 26-May-11 17:04:51

Oh God grin

A bit of a mix of opinions then!?

Not sure I should even broach it now. I doubt there is an infection risk (isn't everyone screened for HIV, etc in preg, and then surely you would choose formula?) but maybe I'd get a Bleugh-type reaction.

People are v v emotional about b milk aren't they? It is a bit odd

KnitterNotTwitter Thu 26-May-11 17:10:49

I'd raise it in the 'in an emergency' situation as that sounds like quite a good idea - especially if you'd rather she did that for your DC rather than a bottle....

In practical terms though would you have enough supply for two 5mo children... and I think it might confuse your supply - i.e. the next day you'd probably end up engorged as your boobs upped supply to provide for two...

KaraStarbuckThrace Thu 26-May-11 19:32:07

Chloe - it is because it is just not the done thing these days.

The infection risk is low, because you say you have pretty extensive antenatal screening anyway. Plus BM is chock full of antibodies.

thisisyesterday Thu 26-May-11 19:41:04

I have never breastfed a friend's baby, although I would have if they'd wanted me to, but I did donate a LOT of breastmilk to my friend's little boy when she was expressing for him and struggling with supply issues (retained placenta)... so in effect yes, i've breastmilk fed a friend's child, just not direct from the breaast

I would have no problem with someone else feeding my child in an emergency, in fact, DP waas told in no uncertain terms that if I was to die in childbirth he WAS to contact all my breastfeeding friends and see if anyone would wet nurse the baby for me.

thankfully never needed to though.

i do think that MY milk is better for MY baby than other people's milk though, because my antibodies are designed for my baby, so on a day to day basis I would prefer to express for my chiold than have it fed by a friend

Okonomiyaki Thu 26-May-11 20:57:00

I'd be fine with the idea. Not sure I know anyone else who would though!

bringinghomethebacon Thu 26-May-11 21:00:55

I did it once. My friend was struggling to latch on her newborn and he was starving. I fed him with my friend there to show her how to latch and take the edge of his hunger. She was then able to latch him on after I'd given him a bit of milk. She also fed my baby too (a few months older) to practice her latching on. I posted on mumsnet about it and got lots of lovely comments. However I think I might feel odd about it if I did it regularly. I would be happy for a friend to feed my baby in an emergency but for a regular basis I would prefer to express milk. I think its the bonding thing I would be anxious about.

cardamomginger Thu 26-May-11 21:14:06

Nope. Agree with the comments about being an intimate and bonding experience between a mum and her DC. And what about potential for transmission of thrush? That wouldn't be good.....

chloesbaby Thu 26-May-11 21:14:09

That's really kind of you bacon - what a nice thing to do for your friend.

And thisisyesterday - again, how generous to help your friend and her baby.

I was thinking about this properly when I fed my baby (now asleep) about an hour ago, how I would feel if it were someone else feeding him. It is v difficult to know if I really would be as fine with it as I think I am confused

If I was to suggest this it would really only be an emergency thing. Most of the time the babies are fine for an hour or two anyway.

UC Thu 26-May-11 21:19:39

Personally I'd have no problem with it at all.

ChunkyPickle Thu 26-May-11 21:20:23

I would have to know the baby quite well I think, however bacon, that idea is sheer genius - give both the baby, and the mother a chance to have a go with someone who already knows what they're doing.

Somehow, in my head, I'd have less of a reaction at feeding a very young baby than one the same age as mine.. but I think it's irrational.. I'd totally be fine about it in an emergency in either direction

orangehead Thu 26-May-11 21:37:37

I know it was common in times past but I think if you asked me I wouldnt like it and possibly find it a bit freaky(reminds me of the hand that rocks the cradle, obviously different though as she didnt ask permission). Probably irrational of me and Im not saying your freaky chloe. But would feel fine about it in an emergency or like yesterdays example if friend had died or was too ill to bf. I also think bacon story is lovely and very kind. But just for conveince of not expressing, wouldnt feel right for me. Also like others have said wouldnt it mess up your supply feeding two one day and not the next, and your friend who had gone out would be probably be leaking and probably end up expressing when she got back just for relief. Plus like someone else said your milk is designed for your baby, antibodies etc.
But having said that if both you and your friend are happy to do so doesnt really matter what I think grin

kickingking Thu 26-May-11 21:41:38

Erm, no I wouldn't - the idea horrifies me actually!

I would be happy for any baby to have my expressed milk in a bottle. I would breastfeed a baby that was not my own in some kind of emergency situation - if I was lactating, I'm not going to see a baby starve!

I don't like the idea of my own babies having anybody's milk except mine though.

kickingking Thu 26-May-11 21:43:57

Agree that it's sad so many of us are horrified by the idea - it's what used to happen, after all.

RidinOnAPig Thu 26-May-11 21:46:35

I've often thought about this, and for me if the mother was happy about it, I would happily bf their baby. Not sure if I would want anyone to bf my baby though. Odd I know hmm.

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