Thursday, August 02, 2007

Wet Nurse?

I had a comment on my last post, "Baby Boy" asking me if SuperDoula had wet nursed my baby at the birth. The answer is, yes. She is my best friend. I know her entire history, and since I was her midwife until I had to risk her out, I know her medical history and have seen all her bloodwork. I have no problem with her nursing my baby and I would nurse for her too, if she didn't have TWO of the hungry little monkeys!

It is a huge relief to know that I can leave my nursing baby with someone who can take total care of her. I won't need to be distracted worrying about my baby.

Wet nursing has taken many forms over the course of history. Often it was done when a woman died in childbirth or early in their infant's life and another woman in her tribe/village/family that was lactating would take over the job of feeding the child. In Renaissance and early Victorian times, wealthy women hired wet nurses so they could 1. produce more heirs and 2. not have to nurse like the "poor women and animals".

There are still cultures in the world where sisters/aunts/cousins will nurse each others babies while the women take turns working in fields, at jobs, or watching older children.

Some people think it's "gross" but I certainly don't think it to be any more gross than drinking the milk that's all pooled together from the teats of 100s of cows I don't know personally.

10 comments:

Laborpayne said...

Interesting conversation, although I think you glossed over America's historical use of slaves as wet nurses -which probably accounts for why it still has a negative connotation for some. I have nursed my friend's babies and they have nursed mine when the situation called for it and it was the helpful thing to do.

One Hot Mama said...

Surely, I didn't mean to gloss over anything. :-) I just was giving a very short and incomplete history!

kris said...

i think it's great, why not??

connie said...

thank you for elaborating- i think it is a mazing and beautiful, and i am glad to hear of it still going on.

Emily said...

So wonderful to have a friend like that! Until I knew friends a couple years ago who would help each other out in this way, I didn't think babies were that accepting of another mom's breast. Or that it would hurt or feel weird since all breasts are different, etc.... But it seems babies aren't all that picky. Awesome. I don't know if I'd ever nurse a friend's baby, but that's just b/c of my yeast issues that I'd never want to pass on to someone else! Maybe I won't have them this time around.... we'll see....

(sorry for the long comment....)
Emily

I am a Monkey's Momma said...

I *wish* I had friends who felt this way. There will many, many times when the Monkey was little that I just needed an hour or two to myself, but because she would only accept the breast (no bottles or pumped milk for this kid!), I never got that break I needed so badly.

It amazes me that women don't help each other out in this way more often...

Laborpayne said...

Consider yourself tagged!
We're due for another post!
BTW, loved your photo album you did a while back.

RULES - Post rules before giving the facts - Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves - People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules - At the end of the your blog you need to tag six people and list their names - Leave them a comment on their blog, telling them they have been tagged and not to forget to read your blog.
Laborpayne

Sunshine said...

Sweetie,you have been tagged! Go to my blog to read the rules of engagement.

Red Pomegranate said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! I love this. Wish I had a friend who would do the same for me.

CNH said...

My best friend Wet Nurses for me when I have to attend births and take sessions (I am a photographer, and births are my specialty). Or at least she did, til I up and moved 5 hours away. :-(

I loved the ease of not worrying about my monkey while I was away. She won't take a bottle and she like her Aunt L's boobies!