Would you let another Mother breastfeed your baby?
That is the question I am asking myself after reading a recent article from Parenting Magazine. Apparently it is a growing trend for new Mothers to allow other new Mothers to breastfeed their babies and vice versa. There is also some controversy surrounding this as there are noted benefits and risks to the practice.
In addition to exchanging expressed breast milk, some moms skip the bottle and cross-nurse, splitting breastfeeding duties with another woman and her baby. Cross-nursers say they enjoy the flexibility as well as the four-way bonding that occurs between the moms and their children. And some moms go as far as hiring a wet nurse -- a woman paid to breastfeed another child -- when they can't perform the task themselves.
Informal sharing is naturally more controversial, but a significant number of moms are open to the idea. According to a nationally representative Babytalk survey on momconnection.com, 40 percent had either a positive response ("beautiful!") or a neutral reaction ("each to her own") when asked how they felt about milk sharing.
Yet the majority of the medical community warns against it. "We support breastfeeding, but if you can't nurse, we recommend breast milk from a milk bank, or that you use formula," says Ari Brown, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and author of Baby 411. "Even if you have a good friend who wants to donate milk, you can't guarantee that it's free of infections, like HIV. Breast milk is a bodily fluid, just like blood. Would you be willing to give your baby a blood transfusion without first having it tested?"
Read the entire article here
I personally think that it all depends on the women in your life. There are most assuredly certain friends of mine who I would trust to feed my baby if some emergency arose. I simply KNOW that they are free from diseases or infections, so I would feel more than comfortable allowing them to feed my child. However if I did not know an individual well or thought that they conducted themselves in any kind of questionable manner, I would never even dream of allowing them to do so.
How do you feel about this? Is this something that any of you out there have done yourselves? If not perhaps you know someone who does. I would love to hear all about it. Feedback is always appreciated!